The new Starmatter platform launched by Verge Motorcycles revolutionises motorcycling by combining OTA updates, sensor technology, artificial intelligence and an advanced user interface. Verge reveals that its updated Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) utilises the Unreal Engine game engine developed by Epic Games, making Verge the first motorcycle manufacturer in the world to adopt this technology.
The Starmatter software and intelligence platform announced by electric superbike manufacturer Verge Motorcycles is shaking up the entire vehicle industry. Starmatter offers automatic over-the-air updates (OTA), allowing Verge customers to access new functions and improvements for their motorcycle. In addition, the platform includes capabilities to utilise artificial intelligence and machine learning in the processing of data collected by advanced sensor technology, which enables the motorcycle’s characteristics to be personalised for each user. At the heart of the Starmatter platform is Verge’s redesigned Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), for which the motorcycle manufacturer has begun working with Epic Games, developer of the Unreal Engine game engine.
The unique design and advanced technology of Verge superbikes have been widely recognised around the world. The Starmatter platform further strengthens Verge’s position as a leader in electric motorcycling.
“Advanced software is in the DNA of Verge superbikes, but Starmatter is something even bigger. It is like an invisible layer of star matter that covers the bike, personalising the riding experience for each user on an individual level and enabling new exciting features. Such a comprehensive technological leap has never before been seen in motorcycles,” says Verge CTO Marko Lehtimäki.
A motorcycle equipped with advanced sensor technology updates itself
With the Starmatter platform, all new Verge motorcycles come with a sensor package that comprises, for example, GPS positioning, an accelerometer, and Bluetooth, 4G and WiFi connections. In addition, the new platform enables automatic downloading of enhancements and new functions specified by the manufacturer with OTA updates when the device is connected to a network. OTA updates can optimise, for example, the performance of the bike, its charging characteristics, or the operation of the rim motor inside the rear wheel. Verge also aims in the future to proactively identify possible maintenance requirements.
“Some vehicle manufacturers have used OTA updates to keep their device software up to date, but these have usually only involved superficial enhancements. With Starmatter, we want to revolutionise the perception of the life cycle and intelligence of motorcycles. Typically, a vehicle is at its best when new, while smartphones, for example, gain completely new features that significantly improve their functionality year after year. We want to bring the same philosophy to the vehicle industry and guarantee Verge’s customers an intelligent and personalised riding experience, as well as the best possible version of the bike at all times,” Lehtimäki continues.
Although advanced artificial intelligence functions have been used in cars for years, sensors and AI have been hardly utilised at all in motorcycles. With Starmatter, Verge introduces various sensors and machine learning models to series-produced motorcycles, making the company a pioneer in its field.
“Starmatter takes motorcycles into this millennium. Today’s launch is the first step in our strategy, in which these smart functions are just the beginning. The platform creates the foundation for our bikes to become even smarter with each OTA update,” says Lehtimäki.
Impressive user interface augments the riding experience
At the heart of each Verge superbike is an HMI that acts as an interface between the rider and the bike. Among other things, the HMI offers settings and views for different riding and charging functions, managing the motorcycle and troubleshooting. To enable all new functionalities and the future technology roadmap, Verge has redesigned its own HMI software on top of the Unreal Engine game engine developed by Epic Games. The company reveals that Unreal Engine can already be found in all new Verge superbikes.
“The Unreal Engine by Epic Games makes Verge’s user interface as impressive as the bike itself. Unreal Engine is known for its stunning real-time graphics, which we have used to create a visual experience that fits Verge’s brand and design identity. The new HMI makes the bike an intelligent partner instead of just a vehicle,” says Lehtimäki.