The REVER app is adding new functionality that should make motorcyclists safer. On top of its existing navigation function, REVER is now adding a hazard reporting system that allows users to keep other riders updated about dangers on roads or trails.
If you’re not familiar with REVER, it’s a navigation app for your smart device (iOS or Android) that functions similarly to Google Maps. However, unlike Google Maps or Waze (which it’s probably better compared to), REVER is aimed primarily at motorcyclists, with route-planning features aimed squarely at the two-wheeled market. It’s actually owned by Comoto, the same company that owns American moto-retail giant Revzilla.
REVER comes with turn-by-turn navigation function, and even comes with some regions covered by Butler Maps, the US-based outfit that makes high-quality paper maps aimed at riders. REVER uses Butler’s data and other mapsets to give riders an alternative to expensive moto-GPS systems, turning their phones into navigation equipment. See a demo below:
Now, REVER’s app also includes a hazard warning system, which riders can use to detect danger on the road or trail ahead. REVER calls this feature “BARRACUDA,” which stands for Bolstering Awareness with Real-Time Rider Alerting and Cueing for Upcoming Danger Avoidance. No wonder they went with the acronym. Anyway, REVER collaborated with Charles River Analytics to put this function into the app, but ultimately, it was funded through the US federal Department of Transportation.
The information is user-sourced, ultimately. With BARRACUDA, REVER users are able to report a hazard when they encounter it on either a road or a trail (the app also has offroad usability). Then, once it’s logged in the system, other users will be notified, so they can ride safely past.
Here’s what REVER says about it:
“Unlike automobile drivers, motorcycle riders are much more vulnerable to road hazards. Potholes, inclement weather, and slick roads can pose immense danger to riders and increase the probability of accidents. BARRACUDA provides timely hazard alerts designed to minimize distractions and, ultimately, keep motorcyclists safe. REVER users can interact with the BARRACUDA feature in a variety of ways, including through voice commands and button-based controls.”
Sounds useful. For now, though, the BARRACUDA feature is only available for Android devices; it’s going through private beta testing for iOS. We’d expect it to become available for Apple devices in coming weeks, though!