Meet Smart Turn System, Slovenian Innovation for Safer Rides

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21th century bursts with electronic devices offering solutions for our various needs and desires. Therefore it is quite incomprehensible that motorcyclists still have to manually cancel turn signals, resulting in a stronger chance for an accident. The Slovenian start-up ABCS sistem decided to solve this problem.

Miha Kovač and Rok Upelj, founders of Smart Turn System, with their product in Interspar supermarket, Slovenia. (photo: Štartaj Slovenija)Štartaj Slovenija

Miha Kovač and Rok Upelj, founders of Smart Turn System, with their product in Interspar supermarket, Slovenia. 

Director of the company, electrical engineer Miha Kovač, is himself a motorcyclist. During one of his rides, he barely managed to avoid a crash, later realizing that it was due to a turn signal that remained turned on. He began to wonder how the automatic canceling of turn signal that is taken for granted in cars could be as well applied to motorcycles. Playing games on his mobile phone he came up with an idea. He realized that the phone has to register similar movements – especially different inclinations of a device – as those experienced on a motorcycle.

Every problem has its solution

His team has developed Smart Turn System, a self-cancelling turn signal system for motorcycles. They began by looking at all motorist’s maneuvers and reflected on their defining characteristics. Sensors helped them collect information on the movements during a ride as well as on the characteristics of different motorcycles and their drivers. Afterward, they processed all data by using an advanced simulator. Based on this they developed, as they claim, the most advanced algorithm for self-cancelling turn signals that also includes elements of GP.

The device consists of an electronic circuit with motion and position sensors and a microprocessor, which operates on an advanced algorithm. It constantly monitors what is happening with a motorcycle, processes and stores information on its position and movements, records changes of inclination, direction, vibration and acceleration and detects different motorcyclist’s maneuvers, from turning, driving in a roundabout, to changing lanes. In this way, the device can safely and reliably determine when to cancel the turn signal.

Photo: Štartaj SlovenijaŠtartaj Slovenija

Isn’t this problem already solved?

Many have tried to tackle the problem, particularly motorcycle manufacturers, that have designed systems based on different variables – mileage, time, inclination, acceleration, comparison of the front and the rear wheel. So far though, none of the systems has proven itself reliable and safe enough. Some motorcycles are already able to cancel turn signals automatically, but the STS made a step forward. It includes the first advanced system which is capable of detecting different maneuvers and is compatible with most motorcycles. Vital for its reliability was a simulator that was developed specifically for this purpose since with its help they were able to precisely analyze movements of different motorcycles and their riders. As a result, they came up with an advanced solution for a safe and comfortable ride. Rok Upelj, commercial director, adds:

All who have tested the system agree that afterwards it is very hard to sit again on a motorcycle without STS. Since it is about quite a big problem in the motorcycle world, which should have been solved by now, we are confident that in one way or another this will be a standard on all motorcycles in a couple of years.

Photo: Smart Turn SystemSmart Turn System

Hardware made in Slovenia

Hardware for the STS is manufactured by the Slovenian company OMF d.o.o., since they believe in Slovenian partners, quality, and control. They promise that development will certainly remain in Slovenia, even if later they decided to move the production to the east. Their current investment is primarily intended for employment. In this and the next year they are planning to extend their team by 6–8 additional members.

Beside selling the STS online they have already established their service and sales network in Slovenia, where their breakthrough happened after taking part in the ŠTARTAJ SLOVENIJA project. Soon, they intend to enter foreign markets as they told us that they are already in talks with foreign distributors.

Photo: Smart Turn SystemSmart Turn System

Future plans

In the future they would like to cooperate with motorcycle parts and equipment manufacturers that are inclined towards smart accessories. Among their goals is also a cooperation with motorcycle manufacturers; however, they are aware that in case of a partnership with one of them it will be difficult to collaborate with others.

When they had a presentation of the STS for the BMW group, the purchasing director first wanted to know why this system hadn’t been already a part of BMW motorcycles. He immediately sent a team to Slovenia to gather detailed information. Unfortunately, the team included a person who had been claiming for two years that a similar system would be developed by the group itself and that they couldn’t imagine collaborating with a start-up business in such an important field.

The team of ABCS sistem is promising another treat for all motorcycle enthusiasts. They intend to develop a device that will enable its users to follow the data about the ride and analyze them.