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motoDNA goes full throttle on data driven cloud-based training platform

Mark McVeigh standing behind a motorcycle
Mark McVeigh, CEO of motoDNA (Source: motoDNA)

Mark McVeigh knows a thing or two about motorbikes – he’s raced them internationally, he’s engineered them in MotoGP  and for 30 years he has taught other people how to ride them safely and well.

McVeigh is the CEO of motoDNA – an Australia based business that wants to ‘turn ordinary people into extraordinary riders’, improving performance on the track, but primarily keeping riders safe on the road.

motoDNA has developed a data-rich digital platform that reveals detailed insights about riding behaviours and then advises motorcyclists how to  get better while measuring their improvement over time.

Developed on Microsoft Azure through a collaboration between motoDNA and specialist cloud business, SixPivot, the solution takes in data and footage from GoPRO cameras. It then runs machine learning algorithms over the data to identify how someone is handling the bike and where there is room for improvement.

Riders Academy was established by motoDNA ten years ago and is now Australia’s largest advanced rider training provider. Training events are run all over Australia in controlled environments – often a race track.

While motoDNA’s human coaches have had a great impact there is significant subjectivity in terms of the advice they provide, and the business can only scale as fast as new coaches can be hired.

Mark presenting infront of a group of motorcyclists
Riders Academy was established by motoDNA ten years ago and is now Australia’s largest advanced rider training provider. (Source: motoDNA)

While an expert coach like McVeigh knows instinctively how to help someone become a better rider, motoDNA’s technology leverages fusion sensor data providing 100 per cent objectivity, which it claims is a world-first in rider training.

Riders who sign up to use the motoDNA digital platform see video of themselves on their bikes and are provided with advice based on algorithmic analysis of data unique to their riding behaviours. McVeigh says; “The platform is data driven, not opinion driven.

As we integrate technology into our products, we can create a paradigm shift in safety and performance at scale while knowing in our heart that we are getting to the root cause of motorcycle accidents using aviation industry black box thinking.

The technology platform also lays the foundations that will allow motoDNA to scale – providing every rider with their own virtual coach.

McVeigh wants to expand right around the world, confident that Azure’s global footprint will support any international expansion plans.

Ultimately the goal is to make better motorbike riders – and to help keep them and other road users safe.

Safety first

World Health Organisation reports indicate that of the approximately 1.25 million road traffic deaths that occur around the world each year around a quarter are from two or three wheeled vehicles.

According to McVeigh on Australia’s roads; “Motorcyclists generally make up around 5 per cent of the total vehicles, but 25 per cent of the accidents. That’s a big problem There’s an even bigger problem with older riders.”

It’s a problem that the motoDNA platform is designed to tackle head on.

Mark McVeigh walks towards a motorcycle
McVeigh getting ready to Coach students at Sydney Motorsport Park (Source: motoDNA)

“Riders’ individual skills such as throttle, brake, steering are scored between 0 to 100 so we can easily see improvements. A good example is emergency braking where many riders significantly improve their scores, typically going from a score of 20 to 50 in one session. This improvement can be lifesaving on a motorcycle,” says McVeigh.

“An older lady in Brisbane was very nervous using her front brake – her score doubled from 15 to 30 in just one day.”

The underlying metrics of the system were defined by a five-year joint project between Yamaha Japan and motoDNA at the Sydney Motorsport Park Innovation Hub which tracked the riding behaviour of thousands of riders during Riders Academy events.

“We compared the riding behaviour from riders of all skill levels then built algorithms that measure and grade the riders plus an advice function that shows them how to improve using a structured and measured system,” says McVeigh.

The motoDNA solution is also gamified so that riders can see where they stand compared to other riders, and then use the rewards-based community platform to improve their skills and raise their standing, confident that they are basing everything on real data rather than gut instinct.

Two motorcyclists on a racing track
McVeigh keeps skills sharp during his 30 year international racing career. (Source: motoDNA)

Partnering with SixPivot, the first version of the Azure based platform was completed in just eight weeks.

Faith Rees, SixPivot, founder and CEO says; “SixPivot has partnered with Microsoft since our inception. The decisions you make in your earliest days can have a huge impact on your future. We knew that we could innovate quickly with a small team of highly experienced Microsoft technologists to deliver the outcome motoDNA needed.

“Microsoft’s cloud platform and services allows us to leverage what we need for today with respect to time to market, investment considerations while providing a highly scalable SaaS platform that enables the ability to grow with the business.

Our partnership with both motoDNA and Microsoft extends beyond the technology- it’s about, thought leadership and creating a deep partnership to build a business not just a technology.

motoDNA is keen to leverage its first mover advantage and is now exploring a Series A capital raise to build out its team and accelerate its technology to market.

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