According to the European Commission, motorcycles are the most dangerous mode of transportation, with more than 6,500 motorcyclists dying each year in Europe. The risk of death for motorcyclists is 20 times that of car drivers and passengers. That encouraged a Taiwanese company, Jarvish, to engineer a smart helmet that would gather data and calculate risks and predict them in order to reduce fatalities.
Jarvish was established in Taipei in 2014, and has been researching how to design a smart helmet ever since. Three years later, the company has completed the engineering of its product and is ready to ship its smart helmet to users. The helmet comes equipped with sensors to measure user behavior, enabling it to track speed, the intensity of the brakes and the sharpness of turns. The helmet can also identify the time and travel destination, as well as external factors like traffic conditions. Other features include a voice command Bluetooth entertainment system linked to drivers’ smartphone, audio navigation to help keep riders focused on the road, and a preinstalled camera for event recording. The footage captured can be used as evidence in incident reports.
“If we can monitor the rider and understand the behavior, we can evaluate the risk,” explains Jarvish co-founder and chief technology officer, Younger Liang. Back in February, Jarvish delivered the first 1,000 smart helmets and distributed them among testing customers. It is now capturing data from these early adopters and evaluating feedback to improve the product before mass producing. While conventional helmets are sold for an average of $20, Jarvish’s smart helmet will be sold for about $900 a piece. In spite of that, Forbes’ describes the smart helmet as a protector of one’s wallet.
Although Jarvish’s smart helmet is almost in its launch phase, there are still obstacles of legalization. The company is exploring more options concerning features and gadgets installed on the smart helmet, as the engineers feel that monitoring behavior alone may limit the benefits of the helmet. The team is currently working to see how to integrate augmented reality technology into the helmets’ visors to allow for hands-free navigation and alerts on the risks and conditions of the roads ahead.