4 Dec 2013

Motorcyclists revved up over North East safety app

Thousands of motorcyclists convened at the national Motorcycle Live Show at Birmingham’s NEC recently (27 November), to witness the launch of REALRIDER® v2, a revolutionary motorcycling safety app and website developed in the North-East by entrepreneurs, Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson.

Motorcyclists download the REALRIDER® app to their smartphones and turn on the REALsafe® part of the app before going out on their motorbikes. It is programmed to make the connection between the motorcyclist and the NHS ambulance service, so that if they have an accident, their phone will know and contact the NHS to get help automatically. The app also records routes and synchronises with realrider.com where subscribers view, edit and share their favourite rides.

REALsafe® is the first technology of its kind which aims to reduce the number of motorcycling fatalities* amongst the 1 million motorcyclists that take to the UK’s roads every year. Created by REALRIDER®, a North East start-up company supported by Newcastle Science City, the UK-wide app has been piloted nationwide by the North East Ambulance Service.

Zoe Farrington, Managing Director of REALRIDER® said: “We’re delighted to have launched this new and improved app to help save lives amongst the rider community. Being able to take this idea from concept to national launch is a key milestone for our business and we couldn’t have done it without Newcastle Science City. With their support, we were able to carry out much-needed market research to develop the app to the extent that it has become just as vital to our 12,000 subscribers as putting their helmets on.”

Working together with Business & IP Centre Newcastle, Newcastle Science City provided the start-up business support necessary to help the company through its early stages, with Rivers Capital financing the development of the app and website.

“We are now in an ideal position to grow the business and have industry approval and some big names behind us, to create a world-leading system that could reduce motorcyclist fatalities globally,” continued Zoe.

Dave Stevens, Business Support Manager at Newcastle Science City said: “It has been a pleasure to support REALRIDER® in its development towards the national launch of this app. It is a truly innovative product and to have such a successful product developed in the region is a testament to the innovation and R&D that goes on here.”

An annual subscription to REALsafe® is £25 on iOS and Android phones, with founding members that took part in the pilot scheme rewarded with free lifetime subscription.

More developments at REALRIDER® are in the pipeline, with the RAC soon expected to switch on a new REALrescue facility to help riders caught out with mechanical issues or punctures.

* In 2012 there were 328 motorcycling fatalities in the UK.

The Business & IP Centre Newcastle is designed to support entrepreneurs, inventors and small businesses from that first spark of inspiration to successfully launching and developing a business. Dave Stevens leads Newcastle Science City’s activities in the Business & IP Centre Newcastle project, in collaboration with Newcastle City Library and Northumbria University. The project is part financed by the Competitiveness and Employment European Regional Development Fund Programme 2007 to 2013.

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