Radar revolution | Verge give you eyes in the back of your head with new tech

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One of the fastest-growing trends in premium motorcycle design is radar technology, with Ducati, BMW, Yamaha, KTM, and now Finnish firm Verge installing dedicated systems to improve rider safety.

Already offering assisted cruise control settings, collision warnings, and even blind spot detection, the idea has now been taken a step further by Finnish upstarts, Verge Motorcycles, who are promising a 360-degree view around the bike thanks to their latest ‘Starmatter Vision’ technology.

Launched at the 2024 CES show in Las Vegas, the system will only be available on the company’s top-spec Verge TS Ultra electric model and incorporates a front and rear radar, plus six cameras to provide visual and audible updates to the rider whilst on the move.

Verge radar tech

“It first started as a research project a little over two years ago and then we saw what was possible,” Verge Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, Marko Lehtimäki, told MCN. “Then we created the specification and decided to bring it into the top-end model at this stage.

“Many of these technologies have been available and used in cars, mainly for the purpose of getting us towards autonomous self-drive, whereas that’s not a desirable goal in motorcycles.”

The systems work by feeding data to a central computer within the bike. Combined with info from a number of sensors on the machine, this data is processed and fed to the rider, with the system also adapting to individual riding styles.

Verge radar dash display

Working alongside a new full colour TFT screen, the radar and cameras will be used to provide alerts for potential hazards such as cars, animals, or even people straying off the pavement.

Activating an indicator will also cause the Blind Spot Assistance to kick in and bring up a live camera feed on the dash to warn of any additional dangers you might not have spotted in your mirrors.

Rear view cameras can also be used when on the move to give you a look at what’s going on behind, without having to take your eyes off the road ahead for too long.

Verge TS ultra front view

Alongside visuals, the Bluetooth connectivity of the Ultra allows for audible prompts. Lehtimäki explained: “Our bikes have the latest Bluetooth, and you can connect to them.

“So, you can even listen to your music through the motorcycle.”

In order to do this a headset is required, with only the more advanced options likely to support the new warning system.

Verge TS ultra hubless wheel

“What we are providing is basically an alert signal together with the visual signal, so if you’re not looking at the screen you can still hear the chime,” continued the Verge boss.

“We are actually using spatial audio for that (a system used in some conventional headphones like Apple AirPods). If you’re changing lane and the car is an 86 degree angle to you from the back, then we will play the sound exactly from that direction.”

What’s more, the Starmatter system can receive over-the-air updates, meaning we could see the Vision technology improve further.

Verge TS ultra rear shot

“It can recognise potholes; it can recognise a change of material – going from asphalt to rocky roads or something like that,” Lehtimäki added. “There are plenty of things that can be done now that we have the base technology in place.

“Now, for the first time, we’ve put a blank canvas into a motorbike that truly allows us to start to push the boundaries of what machine vision in a motorcycle can mean.”