Verge Motorcycles has launched its Starmatter software and intelligence platform, which offers automatic over-the-air updates (OTA), allowing riders to access new functions and improvements for their motorcycle.
In addition, the platform uses artificial intelligence and machine learning in the processing of data collected by advanced sensor technology, which enables the motorcycle’s characteristics to be personalized for each user. At the heart of the Starmatter platform is Verge’s redesigned Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), for which the motorcycle manufacturer has begun working with Epic Games, developer of the Unreal Engine game engine.
“Advanced software is in the DNA of Verge superbikes, but Starmatter is something even bigger,” says Marko Lehtimäki, CTO of Verge. “It is like an invisible layer of star matter that covers the bike, personalizing the riding experience for each user on an individual level and enabling new exciting features. Such a comprehensive technological leap has never before been seen in motorcycles.”
With the Starmatter platform, all new Verge motorcycles come with a sensor package that comprises, for example, GPS positioning, an accelerometer, and Bluetooth, 4G, and WiFi connections. In addition, the new platform enables automatic downloading of enhancements and new functions specified by the manufacturer with OTA updates when the device is connected to a network. OTA updates can optimize, for example, the performance of the bike, its charging characteristics, or the operation of the rim motor inside the rear wheel. Verge also aims in the future to proactively identify possible maintenance requirements.
“Some vehicle manufacturers have used OTA updates to keep their device software up to date, but these have usually only involved superficial enhancements,” Lehtimäki continues. “With Starmatter, we want to revolutionize the perception of the life cycle and intelligence of motorcycles. Typically, a vehicle is at its best when new, while smartphones, for example, gain completely new features that significantly improve their functionality year after year. We want to bring the same philosophy to the vehicle industry and guarantee Verge’s customers an intelligent and personalized riding experience, as well as the best possible version of the bike at all times.”
Although advanced artificial intelligence functions have been used in cars for years, sensors and AI have hardly been utilized in motorcycles. With Starmatter, Verge introduces various sensors and machine learning models to series-produced motorcycles.
“Today’s launch is the first step in our strategy, in which these smart functions are just the beginning. The platform creates the foundation for our bikes to become even smarter with each OTA update,” Lehtimäki says.
At the heart of each Verge superbike is an HMI that acts as an interface between the rider and the bike. Among other things, the HMI offers settings and views for different riding and charging functions, managing the motorcycle and troubleshooting. To enable all new functionalities and the future technology roadmap, Verge has redesigned its own HMI software on top of the Unreal Engine game engine developed by Epic Games. The company reveals that Unreal Engine can already be found in all new Verge superbikes.
“Unreal Engine is known for its stunning real-time graphics, which we have used to create a visual experience that fits Verge’s brand and design identity. The new HMI makes the bike an intelligent partner instead of just a vehicle,” Lehtimäki says.