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Two-wheeler navigation

  • Rohan, Pending
  • Two-wheelers are by far, the most sold and used means of transportation in India. An average person in India is more likely to buy a two-wheeler as opposed to buying a car. The number of bikes and bike enthusiasts has been on the rise in India, however, there is one flaw that comes with riding a two-wheeler. As of now, there aren't any proper navigation systems for two-wheeler vehicles. Two-wheeler riding has been the same for the past several decades now. Although the bikes have become better, safer and smarter, the riding experience is more or less the same for the rider.

    Most modern smartphones come equipped with a GPS chip which allows users to use apps such as GMaps to navigate to any location. While using these apps is easy, a two-wheeler rider has to make frequent stops in order to read/check the maps on his/her smartphone. This can be especially more inconvenient when the rider is on a national highway where it is very difficult to stop your vehicle.While there are several solutions available for this problem, most of them are very expensive or depend on the make of the vehicle. Also, in most cases, the navigation is simple and doesn't provide the rider with essential information like traffic, upcoming congestion, alternate routes etc. A solution that seamlessly integrates itself with the rider would be the best kind of solution in this regard.

  • The main target audience for this problem would be any person who uses a two-wheeler for their daily commute or long trips. I myself would consider myself as a person dealing with this problem.

    As most of my friends (aged 20-25) are people who own two-wheelers, I've had the opportunity to know how annoying it is to navigate when you're on a motorcycle/scooter. Sure, there are mobile holders that hold your smartphone for GPS navigation, but that solution is a gimmick at best. We've all felt the need for a solution that seamlessly integrates itself with the rider to provide a natural experience while riding a two-wheeler.

  • Transcript of the interview I had with a friend of mine, who is an avid biker.

    After exchanging pleasantries, we jumped right into the subject.

    Me: So, I just heard that you came back after a bike trip to Ooty! How was it?

    Him: Oh Ooty is wonderful as always. I love the weather and the roads are really nice. My uncle has a holiday home, so it's nice to spend a week in the lap of the mountains.

    Me: Wow, sounds amazing! If you don't mind my asking, how did you navigate all the way to Ooty from Trivandrum?

    Him: Well, that's what Google Maps is for. It's truly a lifesaver. Every other rider I know uses this app the most (after social media apps).

    Me: Are there any drawbacks that you notice when you have to navigate such long distances using your phone?

    Him: Usually, not much. However, my phone quickly runs out of charge and I have to stop using the maps for sometime. And this is a brand new phone at that. The other drawback is that I really don't like having my phone on a holder on my bike, as it could easily be damaged in the event of a fall or accident. If I were to keep it in my pocket, I would have to stop my bike every kilometer or so to keep checking on my phone, which is not possible in a national highway. So sometimes, even though I have Google Maps, I still have to ask the local people where a particular location is.

    Me: It's a minor grievance but at the same time, it's something almost everyone who rides a bike has to go through.

    Him: Yes.

    Me: Are there solutions available to this problem in the general market now?

    Him: Yes, there are solutions available, however they are fairly basic. Most GPS displays are made for car manufacturers, so they are not meant for the harsh weather conditions that a biker has to endure. Most GPS displays made for bikes are highly inaccurate and are fairly basic providing only the directions without information about traffic or road blocks that we've come to be accustomed to, thanks to Google Maps.

    Me: Yes, that is indeed very true, I found little to no help when I searched for GPS displays for bikes.

    Him: Yes, it's something I wish we had.

    Me: So let's assume someone made a product that solved this problem, like a smart helmet. Would you be willing to spend money to buy the helmet?

    Him: Definitely, as long as it's reasonably priced, I wouldn't mind spending on something that improves my experience as a rider.

    Me: Okay that's great! Thank you for your inputs!

    Him: Anytime!

     

  • Before:

    Bikers have had to rely on their phones for navigation which is not the best way to navigate which is not the best way, as apps such as Google maps are known to drain the battery of most phones quickly. This leaves the biker with little to no charge in his/her phone for making calls or sending messages in case of an emergency. Most solutions for this are basic and unreliable.

    After:

    Bikers can easily navigate with the help of a device that is mostly independent from their phones and can navigate without having to pull out their phones every 10 minutes or so. This allows them to concentrate on the road and avoid accidents caused by distractions and provides a seamless experience to the thousands of bikers/commuters out there who travel long distances.

     

December 1, 2019

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