One of the more interesting developments announced at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy was the debut of the Arc Vector electric superbike, which is being back by InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover. Yes, as in the car manufacturer.
The link to Jaguar Land Rover was an easy one, as Arc founder Mark Truman was formerly part of the company’s skunk works team, called White Space. Other funding partners include Mercia Fund Managers, the Proof of Concept & Early Stage Fund which is part of the Midlands Engine Investment Fund, and a number of industry specialist angels.
Arc has been teasing the Vector for the past several weeks, with plenty of buzzwords to go along with its electric motorcycle offering. The company plans a multi-pronged approach to get into the motorcycle industry, which includes creating a line of smart apparel (co-developed with Knox) that includes a helmet with a heads-up display (HUD).
Heads-up display (HUD) company NUVIZ just took a strategic investment from Pierer Industrie AG, the company behind KTM, Husqvarna, WP Suspension, and others.
Today’s news is quite a catch for the San Diego based technology startup, and it bodes well for NUVIZ to bring its heads-up display technology to market. As such, NUVIZ hopes to have a heads-up display unit and connected rider system available in the first half of 2017.
NUVIZ has raised roughly $9 million to date, via equity and debt, and our sources tell us that KTM’s purchase into the company has contributed to the lions’s share of that amount – upwards of $5 million, along with a seat on NUVIZ’s board of directors.
Fresh as an MBA graduate, in the very early days of Asphalt & Rubber, I had an interview with a prominent Fortune 500 company that was well-known for its 100 year plan.
This was a topic of conversation during my job interview, as I found it intriguing that a company could even pretend to predict what the world will look like in 100 years.
To find the arrogance in this notion, imagine the trying to predict things like social media, cell phones, the internet, automobiles, commercial flying, and space travel…all at the turn of the 20th century.
With the rate of change we have seen in the past 100 years, apply that same trend to the next 100 years, and you will see how futile such a prediction can be. What don’t know what we don’t know, in this regard.
So, it’s with some amusement that we share with you today BMW Motorrad’s vision for motorcycling in the next 100 years.
The German brand calls its the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100, and says that the concept “embodies the BMW Group’s vision of biking in a connected world – an analogue experience in a digital age.”
Future Skully AR-1 owners will have to continue waiting for their helmets, as Skully has once again pushed back the delivery date of its heads-up display powered helmet.
The announcement is another blow for the San Francisco based startup, as Skully has gone from the media darling to full-blown vaporware-pusher over the past two years.
We say this because Skully first launched in 2013, with promises of helmets in the hands of consumers by the end of 2014. That date was then pushed back to May 2015, in conjunction with Skully’s Kickstarter campaign launch. That date would be revised again, this time to the end of the year 2015.
Now well into the fourth month of 2016, Skully is pushing back its delivery date again, though it isn’t giving a firm timeline when the production units will finally reach purchasers. It should be noted that as of this date, only a handful of pre-production units have made it the hands of specially chosen
It’s 2016, and I’m not sure why we all aren’t zipping around on motorcycles that have integrated heads-up displays (HUD).
The technology has been around for decades, the components and software are available and easy to implement, and with our connected digital lifestyles, the concept just seems like a no-brainer.
Yet, here we are, with our boring “Motorcycle 1.0” motorbikes.
Samsung hopes to change that though, showing off its “Smart Windshield” concept. The idea is straightforward: Samsung’s Smart Windshield connects to your smartphone via a special app, and it displays navigation, call, text, and email information on your windshield, through a special projection system.
Episode 16 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is another jam-packed show, for your aural pleasure.
Quentin and myself cover some of the moto-specific releases from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), such as BMW’s HUD helmet and laser-power headlight, along with the advances Yamaha is making with its MotoBot project, and the future of wearables and personal video.
We also dive into a weighty discussion on the use of quickshifters on modern sport bikes, and how their use can affect the life of a motorcycles transmission.
We also find out that Quentin is a sucker for a good IPA, that Corona will never sponsor the show, and that I have perhaps spent too much time (and money) in West Hollywood. Also, King Leopold II of Belgium was kind of a jerk.
As always, you can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Enjoy the show!
Another release by BMW Motorrad at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the German company says it is working on a motorcycle helmet with an integrated heads-up display (HUD), thus responding to the call for more advanced helmet technology.
BMW already has this technology in its automotive wings, using an optional HUD system that is projected onto the interior of a vehicles windshield.
Now BMW seems to be taking a page from other players in the helmet space, and is looking to bring HUD technology to its motorcycle offerings with the help of California-based company DigiLens.
Most Asphalt & Rubber readers are aware of Skully, the San Francisco startup that is making a helmet with an integrated heads-up-display (HUD), and many A&R readers are also aware that Skully is now officially late in delivering its maiden product to the masses.
Finally acknowledging the tardiness to its 2,000 or so early-adopting customers, Skully has released a video (after the jump) explaining its activities, and that the company is on-track for its new delivery date, before the end of the year – or as they say in marketing speak: just in time for Christmas.
Of course we knew back in late-2013, when Skully first announced its helmet, that there was no way the company was going to hit its delivery promise for 2014, though now the company seems in good stead for its new 2015 promise, with an actual office in SF, a deal with Flextronics to make the augmented reality portion of the helmet, and manufacturing tooled-up.
Helmet startup Skully Helmets, the San Francisco based company that is building a helmet with an integrated heads-up-display system, has quietly pushed back its delivery to customers to December 2015.
Initial hopes from the company were to have product in the hands of consumers by the end of 2014, with that date being solidified to May 2015 once the company started its Indiegogo-powered pre-order campaign.
Anyone in the industry could have told you that was pie-in-the-sky forecasting though, as finished models were not even available at the start of the campaign, let alone other factors like certification, production, and distribution.
Bay Area based startup, Skully Helmets, has a unique solution for the future motorcycle heads-up display (HUD) market. While other players like Nuviz and Bike HUD are developing add-on solutions for your existing helmet, Skully intends to introduce a fully integrated, standalone helmet system that internally incorporates the HUD display tech, in addition to other features.
In addition to normal HUD information features such as turn-by-turn navigation, smartphone integration, and Bluetooth connectivity, the Skully AR-1 features a 180-degree rear-view camera that affords the rider a digital representation of what’s going on behind them. Along with the fully integrated system, the rear-view camera is a major feature that sets Skully apart from its competitors.
As we suspected, the Mission R by Mission Motors lives, albeit in a new company and with a new name. Coming from Mission Motorcycles, the now-called Mission RS (race special) is the realization of what we consider to be the finest road-going electric motorcycle…and we should know, we’ve ridden them all.
Essentially the electric race bike that Steve Rapp piloted to Supersport class lap times at the Laguna Seca MotoGP/AMA/e-Power round in 2011, but with a headlight, taillight and mirrors, the Mission RS boasts some impressive figures.
Sport bike enthusiasts will enjoy the quoted 160hp horsepower, 120 lbs•ft of torque across the rev range, and 17 kWh battery pack, which Mission says is good for a 200 mile range (140 mile real world) and a 150 mph top speed. However, the $58,999 price tag may take some getting used to (insert sticker shock joke here, as well as corresponding eye roll).