Group rides can be a chaotic affair, with riders getting separated and lost, and sometimes even meeting with accidents. When separated from the group, it’s difficult to know whether you’ve been left behind and you need to catch up, or you’ve overshot and you need to pull over and wait.
In an attempt to iron out these issues, three motorcyclists have developed an app that's meant to bring some much-needed convenience to group rides. The app, called Traeser, allows you to plan a ride and share the route with fellow riders, as well as track their progress throughout the ride.
When planning the ride, the user can add waypoints along the route, with a description of each point. Once the route is finalised, it can be shared with all the participants.
Once the trip has been started, the Tracking screen is what opens, and this contains a map showing the location of all your fellow riders, allowing you to know where they are even if you lose visual contact. This screen features four icons in the four corners of the map:
The first is a Break icon that allows you to request for a short break, in case there is a need. This request is then broadcasted to all the other participants, who can then pull over at an appropriate location.
The second icon is an Emergency function that sends a message to all other participants in case of an emergency and also notifies your emergency contacts about the situation.
The third is a Navigate icon. When pressed, it opens Google Maps and navigates you towards the next waypoint.
The fourth is a Stop button which ends the trip.
In addition to participants, the app can also be used by ‘Observers’, who can view the progress of the participants without being part of the ride themselves. Each participant may also specify 'Personal Observers', who can only view the location of that particular participant.
These features are designed to work with the rider’s Bluetooth communicator to alert them of any notifications. Another interesting feature is the digital storage of important vehicle-related documents, as well as medical information. This would certainly prove useful in the event of an emergency, provided there are other riders in the group who know how to extract this information from the app.
Since the app is intended to be used on long, group rides, an effort has been made to keep phone battery and data usage to a minimum. The founders claim that the app used less than 30 percent of the battery over an 8-hour ride, but this will differ from phone to phone, and also on the availability of GPS signal and mobile network. The makers also claim that the basic tracking system can be used on low-strength 2G networks.
The app is available for free on Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iOS.