Road Safety News
 

Smartphone app launched for motorcyclists

Wednesday 27th April 2011

A new smartphone app designed to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on the UK’s roads is now available.

The ‘iBiker app’, which has been part funded by the DfT, is available on the iPhone and Android mobile phones. It features ‘myth busting’ equipment and maintenance videos with James Toseland, the former double World Superbike Champion.

The app enables bikers to:

- Plan, plot, and save their rides/routes.

- Highlight points of interest including pubs, cafes, cash points, petrol stations and meeting points.

- Rate routes.

- Connect with the biking community by sharing information about their rides/routes via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other social networking sites.

The app also highlights ‘the most risky roads and routes in Britain’ and provides interactive information and advice on how to ride safely and responsibly.

Gurminder Marwaha, from Redefine Convention, a social enterprise that manages the app, says: “We have filmed more than 70 different routes in the country that will be well known, such as the Cat & Fiddle and Snake Pass, and have asked experienced police riders to highlight the common dangers on the road to bikers.

“We have been running online forums with bikers to help design iBiker, and incorporated loads of ideas to make this app a unique user experience. Bikers can download it via the iTunes and Android stores, and start using it to create their own personalised riding app.

“The response has been phenomenal and the app has received some amazing feedback on both Twitter and Facebook.”

Click here for more information about iBiker, or contact Gurminder if you are interested in having routes filmed for the app.

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Hi Tony
This is probably drifting out of RSGB territory now so I'll stop after this one (you know where to find me!) but I think the pricing thing is probably not crucial if people get a service that's of value; it works as advertised and it evolves in line with user feedback. That is where App-world really makes sense and those are the principles behind the most successful Apps I think. If DfT money can be used to get the basic platform in place but the future is subscription driven then that works for me.
As a side note I'm fascinated by how Apps have redefined how we think about cost and value for software. It took me months before I decided that £4.99 for something wasn't the end of the world and I almost needed to be hospitalised after forking out £15.99 for some coastal navigation stuff that I now think is the best thing ever for the price!

£2.59 will not kill this App. If it fails to run according to the 3 principles I've outlined above the price won't need to kill it. I really do hope this flies though - our opportunities for this sort of tech are many and diverse and I'll be keeping a weather eye on how this develops.
Jeremy
Jeremy Phillips, Devon

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Jer,
well done for downloading the Apple App (although it does say "coming soon") and for identifying some minor glitches but my main point is do you think charging for the app will encourage or discourage people to use it??
Tony S

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Just downloaded the App (onto an Apple platform Tony!) and it looks to me like an excellent start to something that could prove very exciting. I'd like to see info on local rider development opportunities(come on Gurminder, let's get www.maxrider.co.uk listed for anything in the south west!) and I would also hope that the Notifications facility will be able to reflect changes to local conditions (weather, roadworks etc). The location settings should help to ensure that notifications are specific to user's whereabouts I would think.

I am writing this within 75 metres of a safety camera but apparently my nearest one is 91 miles away! so we have a glitch or two in there still but really, what App doesn't on first release.

A terrific start I think and I look forward to this developing further over time, not least with user uploads.

Well done.
Jeremy Phillips

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It's a pity that the "part funding" from DfT couldn't have extended to making the app free as charging for it (£2.59 on Android, not yet on Apple) may well reduce the number likely to subscribe to it to the usual "self selectors".
TonyS

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