Melbourne, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/08/2018 --It is estimated that more than half of all motorcyclists in the United States are either uncomfortable riding their bikes at night or simply refuse to ride once the sun goes down. Little wonder, since motorcycles are an inherently more dangerous mode of transportation due to their natural instability and the lack of protective shielding for their occupants. When these factors are coupled with the poor visibility most motorcycle headlights provide and the lack of peripheral vision afforded in the dark, riders have just cause for concern.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, their fears are well-founded. Just over 60 percent of all motorcycle accidents occur at night, with a fatality rate that far exceeds that of daytime crashes.
Now, a young startup company, Rubicon Technologies LLC, is working to make riding a motorcycle safer at night. They have developed a night vision device that can be mounted on the handlebars or windscreen of a bike, allowing riders to have a clear vision of the road ahead as easily as they would check their gauges.
The company, co-founded by Robert Schindler and Joe Krizmanich, who is credited with the idea, is based out of Ohio, the state with the third-largest riding population in the country, after California and Florida. They are currently working out of LakeStart, a Lake County, Ohio, small business accelerator that was founded in 2016, and are very excited to have just received a $25,000 development grant from the Great Lakes Innovation and Development Enterprise.
With this influx of capital, the partners have gained a great deal of confidence. "We're going to be developing this product, and hopefully this time next year, we'll be in production," Schindler stated in late February.
Twelve months from drawing board to production may seem a bit ambitious to some, but Schindler and Krizmanich are not going it alone. They will be partnering with Virtec Enterprises, which Schindler once worked for.
The locally based company specializes in developing new products and helping other companies bring them to market. Company spokesman Michael Stardevan stated, "We're really small, there are six of us, and that's all we do is develop new products. But our past clients have included companies from new startups like Rubicon Technologies to large firms like STERIS Corporation, the makers of a wide variety of health care and life science products."
For an independent view of what this new product could mean for the riding community, we queried Brad Sinclair, an avid motorcyclist, personal injury attorney and oft-quoted member of the Florida motorcycle community. "This is the first I've heard of a device like this but sincerely hope it is not the last. Even with all the years I have in the saddle, I can tell you that things can get hairy riding at night very quickly, and at times, I get nervous. At best, you may have half your normal field of vision, and that is on lighted city streets. In the country, all bets are off. To be able to clearly see what is coming at you or what you may be riding towards would make a huge difference in a rider's safety."