A common trait among riders new and experienced is to forget to switch off their indicators.
I’ve had many riders tell me they never forget, but that is rubbish. I see it all the time and it’s dangerous as it indicates to drivers that you are turning when you may still be riding straight ahead.
No wonder there are so many accidents where cars drive out in front of motorcycles!
While cars have had self-cancelling indicators for many years, motorcycles are only just starting to feature them.
The solution for these motorcycles is aftermarket self-cancelling indicators which are not only expensive but can fail, especially if not fitted properly.
Now 19-year-old University of Warwick electronics engineering student and avid rider Nicolas Rogers of Germany is taking a year off his studies to work on a prototype of his Indimate system.
It provides an audible indicator alert sound to the bluetooth unit on a helmet which is a simpler and cheaper system than aftermarket self-cancelling indicators.
“While taking my motorcycle lessons I often forgot to cancel my turn signals and when I learned that I’m not the only one with this problem,” Nicolas says.
“I spent a significant portion of my first year at university developing and testing various solutions to the problem.”
His device connects to your in-helmet intercom and plays a clear turn signal sound which can be personalised for volume, duration and tone via a smartphone app.
Cars have had audible indicators for decades and they work to remind drivers to switch them off, even when they don’t automatically cancel.
However, you can’t hear indicators on a motorcycle.
The small Indimate unit can be fitted anywhere on your bike, but probably best under the seat so it can’t be stolen.
There are four wires that connect to each indicator, one each to the ground and positive battery terminals.
Indimate can also act as a Wi-Fi access point allowing the user to connect to their mobile phone.
So if you are listening to music or taking phone, the indicator noise will tick tock in the background.
Nicolas says he is also considering automatically adjusting the indicator’s volume according to the amount of wind noise detected by the phone’s microphone or playing a short “beep” when the accelerometers of the phone detect that bike has returned to an upright position after a turn.
“Forgetting to cancel your turn signal isn’t just annoying, but can put you in a dangerous situation with another driver who doesn’t understand your intentions,” Nicolas says.
“My hope is that Indimate will increase rider safety, and maybe even save a life one day.”
Indimate has been through 15 iterations so far after Nicolas experimented with bright indicator warning lights, vibrating handlebar grips and handlebar-mounted speakers.
He is now looking to run a small Kickstarter campaign for early adopters in the coming months.
He expects the unit will cost between $A62 and $A78.
You can sign up to Nicolas’s mailing list on the website by clicking here.