According to the founders of Artem Energy Future, two-wheel commuting safety is being neglected, while policy continues to regularize four wheeler safety, two-wheelers have been left in the dust. The founders claim that the upcoming regulation to mandate ABS and CBS (combined braking system) on two-wheelers is too little too late. Given that India has one of the worst safety records with over 1.4 lakh fatalities last year, of which 35% were on two-wheelers. India alone consumes 20mn two-wheelers annually which will grow to 36mn by 2022-23. The founders’ own experiences convinced them of a need for more development in two-wheeler safety.
To that end, they have announced their latest product, the Artem M9. The M9 is a unique scooter in many ways, being the first two-wheeler in the world to feature ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems). The vehicle is being developed with several industry firsts: 90kmph top speed, 0-50kmph in 6 seconds and a range of 100 km. per charge. Artem is taking a unique approach to EV practicality by allowing the M9 to be charged by an onboard fast charger, alongside battery swapping tech.
“Range anxiety is a key factor against the adoption of electric vehicles. With the M9, we mitigate this by cracking that psychological barrier of 100kms of range, as well as provide the flexibility of charging or swapping, as is convenient,” explains Rajit Arya, Founder & CEO. The bootstrapped startup is in the process of raising a Series A round of investment in the run-up to a three product roadmap over the next five years. The M9 is based on a modular architecture that lends itself to scaling up or down. It will be followed by the M9-A and a mid-mass market scooter, the M6.Dr. Prabhakar Patil, Retired CEO of LG Chem Power, and a member of the core advisory board of Artem says, “Electric vehicle technology is seeing a surge in development pace in all parts of the world. Battery costs are coming down while energy densities are increasing, which requires core business assumptions to be constantly re-assessed. I believe Artem has a holistic and long-term vision to achieve practical electric mobility on two wheels.”
Artem believes that two-wheeler safety can be tackled through a two-step approach; one being collision prevention and collision alert. To prevent this, Artem’s flagship M9-A scooters will have cameras and radars to allow 360-degree awareness to a 100m radius. Data from environment perception sensors is used by the vehicle, in sync with the rider awareness features. Explains Naveen Deepak Veeramaneni, Co-founder & CTO of Artem, “Proximity warnings relay to the rider through a smart helmet, as well as through vibration feedback on the handlebars. Emergency braking can be automatically and safely activated using Artem’s proprietary “EDB” (Electro-Dynamic Braking) technology which reverses traction force for safer stops, while simultaneously being gentle on brake wear.”
And that’s not all, Artem’s M9 scooter has Artificial intelligence on board that will warn tailgaters if they are too close. Indicators cancel safely and automatically by sensing when the turn has been completed, and a blind-spot warning system is available to warn the rider that despite indicating a turn, someone is close behind and a potential danger. These systems, previously only available on high-end cars, have the potential to drastically enhance two-wheeler safety according to Artem. Going forward, Artem is looking for net-positive impact. “Electric vehicles will continue to pollute as most of the electricity still comes from coal-powered plants,” explains Arya. Artem’s response is an integrated infrastructure solution, with an aim to build solar-powered battery swapping infrastructure that can be installed at places such as petrol bunks.
Despite all these features if you do meet with an accident on M9, the scooter automatically sends a text message alert to five predetermined In-case of Emergency (ICE) numbers, a centralized call centre is also informed, as is the local emergency response authority.