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Crash detection tech wins UK round of space business competition

30 October 2015

Technology detecting and reporting motorbike accidents has won the UK round of the 2015 European Satellite Navigation Competition.

Andrew Richardson and Zoe Farrington: co-founders of Realsafe Technologies that developed the REALRIDER app (photo reproduced courtesy of

Technology that detects when a motorbike rider has crashed and automatically notifies the emergency services so that prompt and potentially life-saving action can be taken, has won first place in the UK round of the European Satellite Navigation Competition (ESNC).

The vulnerability of lone riders, potentially immobile after a crash and without witnesses to call for help, spurred serial entrepreneurs and motorcycle riders Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson to develop REALRIDER. This industry-first app enables local Ambulance services to quickly find and treat the patient, greatly improving their chances of survival.

In the UK, motorcyclists represent one per cent of traffic on the road yet account for up to 19 per cent of fatalities. Critically motorbike riders are 35 times more likely (per mile ridden) to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants and over two-thirds of these fatal accidents take place on rural roads.

With that in mind, the company developed REALsafe crash detection technology. Embedded within REALRIDER, REALsafe monitors a smartphone’s accelerometer together with satellite positioning data. Key sensors in the smartphone look for changes such as rapid deceleration, a tumbling motion, followed by a period of non-movement.

When REALsafe detects an impact, a two minute ‘crash alert’ countdown is triggered, and if the alert remains active (a rider can manually cancel), the rider’s last known GPS coordinates are communicated to the nearest ambulance control centre along with the rider’s pre-programmed phone number and medical information.

Realsafe Technologies beat 57 entries to be crowned the 2015 UK champion of the ESNC, winning £5,000 and business support for REALRIDER from competition partners Satellite Applications Catapult, Innovate UK, the UK Space Agency, intellectual property attorneys, Marks & Clerk, Ashby House, Airbus Defence and Space and the European Space Agency’s Business Incubation Centre.

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