We chat to Andrew Richardson of REALRIDER

“I came around a corner, saw a car coming at me, saw my exit and went for it, went into a gully and came off and the bike ended up on top of me. But I looked at my phone, my Apple Watch and saw REALRIDER® activated and counting down, I heard the voice response through my audio.”

Andrew Richardson, Co-Founder

Tech that Locates Riders Thrown from their Bikes

Danger is the reason we ride. It focuses the mind and brings us to places both figuratively and metaphorically like nothing else can. But we’ve all heard the stories, we’ve had friends, who have had an accident, maybe we’ve had it ourselves, that remind us just how exhilaration can turn to tragedy in the blink of an eye. 

Pictured: Andrew Richardson, Real Rider Co-Founder

That’s why we invest in the right gear, we learn to ride properly, and we take responsibility for our own safety while riding out. 

In the event of a motorcycle accident, getting the help of the emergency services in a timely fashion can save lives and have huge consequences. If you’re out in the middle of the country and you get thrown from your bike, the seconds start ticking. Statistically, 90% of riders are thrown from their bikes when they are involved in a crash. Every second counts from the moment you leave your saddle, to the moment you are located by the ambulance crew. It’s something Andrew Richardson , Co-Founder of Realsafe Technologies Ltd. Has put a lot of thought and years of effort into, in order to develop a solution that can save lives. 

REALRIDER® is a smartphone enabled solution that automatically delivers riders’ time-critical location & potentially life-saving health data to paramedics if you crash & can’t call for help. It’s one of those very elegant solutions that was deceptively complicated in its development. While the technology today allows for the execution of such a service, the ideation and development of the system that powers it took years of work, experimentation, innovation and hard work. The idea for REALRIDER® can be traced back to one lightbulb moment.

“We were shooting a film called Great Roads, Great Rides, between 2006 and 2008. Part of this film was a section about crash scene management, which later became called ‘Biker Down’. We had the Great North Air Ambulance paramedics working with us on the filming. They were very experienced paramedics in attending motorcycle crash scenes, they were able to explain to us everything that happens. 

“We were having a cup of tea between takes, and one of them was talking about the main challenges they have when they attend the scene of a motorcycle crash. Someone has reported the incident, they see the bike and parts strewn across the road, but they have no idea where the rider is. Not a clue. They could probably be searching for quite some time until they would call for the police helicopter to come in with thermal imaging technology. 

Eventually they would find the rider, in a field, or a bush or even up a tree, know nothing about the rider, if they are allergic to penicillin or latex, their blood type, all these things. Of paramount importance is getting to them quickly and getting them to hospital quickly.”

The design of the whole system has taken years and continues to change as new technologies come on stream. Credibility and trustworthiness in respect to the emergency services are crucial. It is so important that the amount of false alarms sent to Ambulance and emergency services is kept to a minimum. The Emergency Services will only work with compliant, trusted services that apply the highest rigour to their tech and systems. 

After working in motorcycle safety for years, Andrew eventually got to see his REALRIDER® system in action when he came off his bike. Luckily, Andrew wasn’t hurt badly, but it was a chance to see for himself in real time, the life-saving potential of his creation.

“I bought a BMW R1200 RS and had it for seven years. 79,000 miles I did on that bike. Then, in February I had my first crash. I was there, lying underneath my bike and all my tech was going off. I had all the knowledge from my years of working in motorcycle safety, how to handle a bike, everything, but eventually I had a crash.”

“I came around a corner, saw a car coming at me, saw my exit and went for it, went into a gully and came off and the bike ended up on top of me. But I looked at my phone, my Apple Watch and saw REALRIDER® activated and counting down, I heard the voice response through my audio.”

The system is configured for the high-speed crashes, because that’s when riders get thrown from their bikes. An unbelievable amount of work has gone into ensuring that the calls for help only get made when a genuine accident occurs, one that requires emergency services urgently.

There is at times a mind-boggling amount of tech add-ons and extras, apps and features associated with the modern motorcycle. Many of them are nice in theory but clunky and unnecessary in their use and effectiveness. REALRIDER® is one that stands out. Anything that can save a rider’s life is worth taking notice of, but a solution that is at the same time, so elegant in its simplicity and complex in its research and development is something any true motorcycle enthusiast can appreciate.

Thank you to Andrew for discussing REALRIDER with us
Check out how REALRIDER works here