Born to be wired

IBM is helping legendary US motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson to get its motor running with a cloud-based service for a new electric bike

The Harley-Davidson Motor Company is to integrate LiveWire, its first-ever electric motorcycle, with the internet of things (IoT) using the IBM Cloud.

Harley-Davidson and IBM said the IoT-powered LiveWire H-D Connect service would deliver new mobility and concierge services. The bike company said it would also inject some artificial intelligence (AI) into the biker’s ride, using IBM AI, analytics and IoT to enhance and evolve the riding experience.

H-D Connect provides a mobile network that links a LiveWire owner with their motorcycle through a smartphone using the latest version of the Harley-Davidson app.

“LiveWire is a fully cellular-connected electric motorcycle, and we needed a partner that could deliver mobility solutions that would meet riders’ changing expectations, as well as enhance security,” said Marc McAllister, vice-president, product planning and portfolio at Harley-Davidson. “With IBM, we have struck a balance between using data to create both intelligent and personal experiences, while maintaining privacy and security.”

According to Harley-Davidson, the H-D Connect service will enable a LiveWire rider to check their bike’s vitals at any time and from any location. Information includes range, battery health and charge level.  

Motorcycle status features will also support the needs of the electric bike, such as the location of charging stations. Riders can also see their bike’s current map location, said Harley-Davidson.

There is also a security feature that sends alerts to owners’ phones if their motorcycle has been bumped, tampered with or moved. It is also GPS-enabled for stolen-vehicle assistance.

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