Over half of riders excited to adopt AR technology as safety features evolve

Bikesure’s most recent survey has found that motorcycle riders across Britain are keen to invest in new technologies to improve their safety while riding, with Augmented Reality (AR) helmets ranking as the piece of kit that riders are most excited about for 2022.

AR helmets, which bring the dashboard up to eye level, digitally displaying directions, traffic alerts, indication, speed, and hazards, as well as having the capacity to show riders incoming calls and 360° visibility via live rear-view camera footage, ranked top of the kit wish list for 52% of respondents.

Younger motorcycle riders: 56% of 18–24-year-olds, 49% of 25–34-year-olds and 59% of 35–44-year-olds agree they are most excited about AR Helmets, versus only 35% of those riders aged 65+.

“It is evident that the majority of riders are open to embracing technological advances to improve rider safety, particularly within younger demographics of rider. New helmet technologies will not only keep riders safe, but also have the potential to bring the experience of riding a motorcycle firmly into the 21st century,” says Robert Balls at Bikesure.

Although new and innovative technologies to enhance safety are constantly in development, helmet safety has remained a top factor for riders. When considering future purchases, a third will prioritise upgrades and kit investments that improve their safety while riding.

Those surveyed believe the riding experience will be enhanced by new technologies, with the majority (51%) stating that AR helmets will add to it.

Over half of those set to consider investing in new technologies and modifications say that safety credentials are the most important buying consideration (53%).

Other important considerations making up the top five* included price, weight, aesthetic and impact on handling. Almost one in five also considered the impact that investing in or upgrading their motorcycles with new technologies would have on their insurance.

Alongside AR Helmets, the safety improvements riders were most excited by included**:

  • Modular motorcycle helmets: which offer improved flow and visibility.
  • Airbag riding gear: including a vest, jacket, or full-length suit.
  • ADV riding gear: which features advanced, lightweight fabrics.

Unlike AR Helmets, modular motorcycle helmets prove popular across rider demographics. However, the popularity of airbag riding gear remains strongest with older millennials, with 51% of 35-44-year-olds stating their excitement about this compared to only 36% of aged 65+ riders.

Bikesure has found that considerations for safety also go beyond wearable tech to include modifications and technological upgrades to riders’ bikes too, with 39% most likely to invest in bikes with Anti-Lock Brakes systems (ABS), 32% in adaptive headlights, 28% in smart windshield upgrades, and 26% in a bike with vehicle-to-vehicle technology (V2V) or bike-to-vehicle technology (B2V).

“It remains to be seen what impact these advances in rider safety technology will have on insurance pricing. More technology on bikes will likely increase their value and therefore repair and total loss costs. However, if these technologies reduce the frequency of accidents, then overall claims costs could reduce and savings can then make their way back to riders through lower pricing. Pricing for established technologies such as ABS are already factored in for those bikes that have them fitted as standard. As for advances in clothing and helmets, Bikesure has policies that will cover up to £3,000 for protective clothing in the event of damage from an accident, so that will go a long way towards covering the cost of replacement advanced protective riding gear, including helmets.” Robert Balls at Bikesure.

Bikesure’s findings have made clear that personal safety is a top priority for British riders despite 8 out of 10 feeling the pinch, with the price of new technologies posing a considerable barrier to investment. Despite this, 40% felt new motorcycle technologies are justifiably expensive for the heightened safety and rider experiences that they offer.