A glimpse on the future of motorcycles
Lycan takes on its ambitious desire to bring the first Filipino smart motorcycle
It was like a scene straight out of a sci-fi movie. A futuristic motorbike greets me as I enter the garage of Lycan, the first all-Filipino independent motorcycle and technology company.
The sound of the welding machine fusing the parts of an avant-garde motorbike echoes like a chant in a campaign rally. It was invigorating, filling my body with effervescence; enthusiastic to meet the people behind Lycan in their headquarters in Quezon City.
The promise of a connected tomorrow
A few weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of what could be the future of motorcycles in the Philippines. GadgetMatch had a sit-down with Jaggy Gangat, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lycan Motors, and JM Grefaldo, the company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Gangat vividly remembered how Lycan started; a custom garage understanding what the market needs. Gangat was certainly part of the market, being a rider before more than an entrepreneur. With his background in business, strategic thinking, love for motorcycles, and desire to create an impact — Gangat was filled with idealism as he birthed Lycan.
But it wasn’t a simple, spontaneous plan that abruptly came to fruition, like those enacted in the movies. Gangat knew having a Filipino-made motorcycle isn’t enough.
Grefaldo came into the picture to make Lycan stand out. The answer was technology, or rather, making motorcycles smart. “Lycan wouldn’t be Lycan without technology and JM,” says Gangat as he vehemently introduced his CTO.
Gangat and Grefaldo believe in putting Filipinos one step closer to the future. The two shared the promise of a connected tomorrow; their eyes flickering with excitement like a star-eyed emoji as they discussed what they were about to bring in the nearest future.
From futuristic experiences of showcasing their motorcycles to a modern approach to purchasing a vehicle — Lycan wants to use technology to propel the Filipinos to a better tomorrow.
Artificial intelligence (AI) at Lycan’s core
Ah, artificial intelligence. That tech jargon usually gets lost in translation. Lycan believes most people don’t fully understand or grasp the concept of AI. I agreed ardently. People fear what they don’t understand.
But artificial intelligence is found in almost every device we have now. It makes so much sense to see a motorcycle applying the same computer system to make it smart. As a matter of fact, life got easier in terms of communication, social interaction, and doing business — thanks to our smartphones employing AI properly.
In the same way, Lycan aspires to use AI to deliver convenience and ensure safety. The Filipino start-up is working on a proprietary voice assistant akin to Siri and Alexa, dubbed Luna.
Luna AI is expected to give commands. With machine learning, it aims to hold a conversation with the rider to prevent distracted driving.
It’s bound to be paired with a smart helmet, making Luna the ears and mouth to help operate the system. With one command, Lycan’s motorcycles can activate without throttle assist.
In the nearest future, as Luna takes a more tangible shape after its development, the voice assistant will help navigate maps, exhibit the important statistics from the dashboard, integrate the data between the smartphone and mobile app, access remote diagnostics, and check the overall performance and condition of the motorcycle.
Gangat hopes to make the technology as solid as it can, like Elon Musk’s TESLA. Eventually, hopefully, the CEO dreams of a future where the motorbike can be smart enough to predict a situation, and hopefully, keep more bodies safe.
An integrated experience
Lycan is also developing its own operating system called LmoS. In full, it’s called Lycan Motorcycles Operating System, functioning as the brain of its motorcycles, and eventually, the system for Luna AI.
Aside from the smart motorcycle, the company is developing a mobile app slated to be launched later this year alongside the G6. The app will be integrated into the motorcycle and is expected to work seamlessly with the smart helmet — operated by Luna AI and connected via Bluetooth and/or WiFi connectivity.
For security purposes, Lycan is considering blockchain as a foundation to safeguard its users and the technology.
Helmet like Iron Man’s
The smart helmet is Lycan’s answer to the problem of distracted driving. A split second of taking your eyes off the road can unravel endless possibilities; one of which could be accidents happening in the blink of an eye.
While still under development, the smart helmet promises an Iron Man-like experience. The visor will have a heads-up display to give an overview of the riding experience, and to communicate with fellow smart helmet users.
Sensors are equipped inside the helmet, measuring your pulse and heart rate while communicating with the mobile app. One important thing would be its unique Smart Helmet Crash Detection technology. The helmet’s impact sensors will assess the kind of fall and the gravity of the impact.
Different levels will determine the next course of action, whether Luna will update Lycan, alert a local LGU — if the company gets to partner for emergency dispatch — or simply ask the rider about his/her/their current condition.
Personalize your motorcycles
Apart from the infusion of artificial intelligence and the application of Internet-of-Things on its products, Lycan prides itself on another innovative platform. Called BuilderX, the online configurator gives people the ability to design their motorcycles and get them personalized.
The platform aims to let people customize, save their designs, download, and place their orders. Lycan aspires to make purchasing their vehicles simpler, taking cues from the booming e-commerce platforms. The company promises to make it easy even for non-tech savvy individuals, making the process as easy as three steps: designing, ordering, and receiving.
There will also be an option to pick up the motorcycle or receive it at home. The platform was backed by Gangat’s background in customizing motorcycles, reducing costs by tapping into e-commerce instead of opening up several dealerships, and answering people’s desire for a more personalized motorcycle — shying away from designs brought by foreign brands.
Reducing carbon footprint
Like any company of tomorrow, Lycan wants to help in reducing its carbon footprint. Currently, the motorcycles are available in gasoline and hydrogen fuel-cell versions. Moving forward, Lycan is looking into a hybrid engine using hydrogen fuel cells and petroleum for internal combustion and eventually transforming into a pure hydrogen vehicle.
Concurrently, Lycan is developing batteries and engines to prepare for an EV variant. The company is looking into a 5000-kilowatt battery for high-speed electric vehicles.
A company that listens
As a start-up, Lycan offers one thing most motorcycle companies don’t: two-way communication with its consumers. Aside from the service and technology, Lycan aims to listen intently to the market. One way to prove this is the retail price that its market can afford (and potentially disrupt the industry).
The 400cc G6‘s MSRP is PhP 179,999 and reservation starts at PhP 9,850. Meanwhile, the 650cc GC6‘s MSRP is PhP 294,999 and reservation starts at PhP 19,720. Prices are subject to change.
Aside from being the company’s consumers, interested investors can take part in the growth of Lycan. See investment opportunities and be part of history as a shareholder.
Why the next-gen Ford Ranger is a Spartan-approved vehicle
Packed with creature comforts that make driving and being a Spartan easier!
A few years ago, I was only dreaming of becoming a Spartan. I took a leap of faith by taking on a Spartan Race back in 2022 in the midst of a hurricane, running through a 10-kilometer muddy trail.
In case you didn’t know, Spartan Race is the world’s premier obstacle course race hosted across the globe. It tests the limits and grit of an athlete, transforming anyone to be their strongest and most unbreakable self.
Three races in and I’ve clocked a total of 36 kilometers, ending the year as a full-fledged Spartan. A 10-kilometer muddy trail in Vermosa; a 5-kilometer trail run inside Timberland Heights; and a 21-kilometer mixed trail in Alviera.
As the 2023 season begins, I was dead-set on taking my first Age Group (competitive) category and a back-to-back race on the same day. All my gears were Spartan-ready, and all that was left was a vehicle appropriate for a Spartan.
In my quest to prepare for my most enduring race yet, Ford lent me the Next-Gen Ford Ranger. The Next-Gen Ford Ranger arrived in a Blue Lightning colorway, emanating strength and speed. It was instantly a head-turner, catching the attention of other commuters and passersby.
Everything about the Ranger screams Spartan. The vehicle exudes the same ethos we live for. It’s battle-ready, extremely durable, and insanely powerful.
Not to mention, it has striking looks — which I always exude whenever I take on a race. How can you get noticed by event photographers if you won’t play with colors, right?
It looked strong and it made us feel powerful. “Us” as a collective because the emotional state doesn’t just pulsate with the driver, but also with its passengers. One weekend with the Ranger and we felt like warriors. Ready to take on any challenges that we can conquer.
Made for Spartans
Just because I’m a Spartan doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the creature comforts the Next-Gen Ford Ranger brings. In fact, I am trained to be uncomfortable but the vehicle’s features allow me to pursue the Spartan lifestyle.
Call it a paradox but we take the convenience of having a comfortable ride and/or drive so we can train our minds and bodies to be familiar with pain and discomfort. As a modern-day Spartan, life isn’t all about battles and preparing for war under the heat of the sun.
We wage our fights through our day jobs, balancing our personal lives, while also developing our bodies to be ready for sports.
Having a tech-infused vehicle enables me to freely pursue the life of a Spartan. If you’re familiar with Ford’s driving experience, which we have mentioned several times here in GadgetMatch, it’s always buttery-smooth.
Even with a humongous body, I can maneuver the steering wheels easily. As someone who drives small cars, I felt the heft and the pain of driving a bigger automobile. But the features packed inside the vehicle made driving smoother — both for rookies and seasoned drivers.
When a smartphone and a vehicle match!
With every technology update to Ford’s lineup of automobiles, it’s becoming more of a tech machine each year. The Next-Gen Ford Ranger is no exception with the ability to use FordPass Connect. If you’ve been living under a rock, FordPass is Ford’s newest technology utilizing remote control functions for the vehicle through an app.
When I was in a hurry and I couldn’t locate my keys, I used the FordPass app on my iPhone to remotely unlock the Ford Ranger. Through the app, I was able to remotely start the vehicle so I can turn on the air conditioner even before I step in. I was also able to stop the engine, lock the car, and check the fuel level — all in one space.
What I like the most is the vehicle locator feature, which allows me to find the Ford Ranger in crowded parking areas. Thankfully, I didn’t have to use the feature when the Ranger was parked in Vermosa’s gravel lot since I was the only one with a vehicle in a striking blue colorway.
Aside from FordPass, the accessibility and ease of use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allowed everyone to connect with the vehicle to help in navigation and music playback. We sang “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus while on our way to Alabang so we can hopefully shake our pre-race jitters.
I personally love the bigger, best-in-class 12-inch portrait touchscreen that allows me to see an overview of the map, adjust music playback, and even have a space for responding to calls and messages.
The perfect companion for an endurance race
For a pick-up truck, the Ranger offers extremely comfortable space for its passengers. We picked up Alison — my friend, a teacher, and an elite athlete — partaking in the first race of the weekend. Alison competed with elite and national athletes, hopefully qualifying for the national team.
Alison, together with other competitive athletes, gleefully took some rest in the back seat while in transit. They loved the leg space and the coziness the couches offered. The same experience goes for the front passenger seat, which I took as I was playing with the car’s features while my friend Betty took on the wheels.
When female Spartans are lovin’ it
Perhaps, the people who enjoyed the Ranger the most are Spartan women that I befriended after my first race. Jomi and Betty, competitive athletes who are consistently part of the Top 10 of their respective age groups, took over the wheel while I was exploring the Ranger’s features and technology.
Recently, I have learned that the Next-Gen Ford Ranger is officially the best 4×4 and pick-up according to the Women’s World Car of the Year judges. It won for a multitude of reasons; the same reasons that Jomi and Betty loved when they experienced driving the Ranger.
From excellent ride and handling, a suite of advanced driver-assist technologies and other safety features, an upgraded chassis and suspension, and the bold and confident look that resonates with strong, independent women. What more can they ask for?
Fostering a sense of community
What I love about the Next-Gen Ford Ranger is how it builds a sense of community, the same way a Spartan race brings people together. Parked in the gravels of Vermosa, the Ford Ranger became a holding area for my friends and teammates.
We used the cargo box to house our bags, equipment, and food. We were able to gather behind, passing jokes and drinks after an exhilarating day.
I used to do things alone and now, I’m surrounded by like-minded people — which was the best plot twist I’ve had so far. And even if it’s just for a weekend, I’m grateful that the Next-Gen Ford Ranger helped in making my first competitive and back-to-back race memorable.
Even with an aching body, the Ranger offered a smooth, safe, and reliable ride on our way home. It’s definitely a Spartan-grade vehicle, made for modern-day Spartans.
The Next-Gen Ford Ranger comes with a 5-year warranty. The longer warranty offering will cover the Next-Gen Ranger for up to 5 years or a total mileage of up to 150,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
For more information, visit the Ford Ranger page on the website to reserve the next-gen Ranger through www.ford.com.ph or check your nearest Ford dealer.
Qualcomm partners with Mercedes-AMG in F1
It’s a multi-year deal
Fast-paced sports need fast-paced connections. It’s hardly surprising that technology now goes hand-in-hand with today’s sports wherein real-time information is a necessity. Now, after a brief stint with Ferrari, Qualcomm is teaming up with Mercedes-AMG on the Formula 1 grid.
Last year, the chipmaker announced a surprising partnership with Ferrari’s Formula 1 team. At the time, Qualcomm joined Google as one of the major technology brands involved in Formula 1. However, unlike Google’s more visible motifs on McLaren’s livery, Qualcomm’s partnership with Ferrari was more subtle.
Since Mercedes-AMG recently unveiled its livery for the upcoming season, Qualcomm is approaching its new partnership in the same way. The brand’s logo is subtly displayed on the car’s rear wing. The team’s garage and clothing will also don the logo for this season.
Naturally, the partnership goes beyond the logo. The team will use Qualcomm technologies to improve its performance on the track. The chipmaker will also help with the team’s fan experiences, in-person and in virtual worlds.
Mercedes-AMG and Qualcomm are now in a multi-year partnership. Expect to see the chipmaker’s logo for years to come.
Now, in the world of Formula 1, Mercedes-AMG remains one of the teams to look out for. Along with Red Bull and Ferrari, the team makes up a part of the big three actively competing for the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships.
What’s it like to use a pick-up truck, according to Ford Ranger owners
Hear it from a website developer and an associate manager!
The next-generation Ford Ranger became a staple sight on local roads after it officially arrived in the Philippines back in July 2022.
With a growing number of owners, next-generation Ford Ranger owners share what’s it like to use the pick-up truck and how it blends seamlessly into their day-to-day life.
Pampanga-based website developer and part-time photographer Philip Vino and Cebu-based associate manager Earl Cuevas detail the experience of driving the Ford Ranger’s exciting features and upgrades.
Style and comfort
The upgraded look and improved handling of the next-gen Ranger proved to be a match to Philip’s lifestyle. “A pick-up truck is really ideal for my needs. As a young driver, I prefer a pick-up truck that looks good and matches my personality. I’m always in remote locations due to the nature of my job, so I need a vehicle that can keep up with my busy schedule, and I found it in the next-gen Ranger,” says Philip.
For Earl, there was something fresh about the next-gen Ranger’s exterior and overall look. “The headlamps are too handsome. Inside, the ride comfort is outstanding. It doesn’t feel like a pick-up truck as the ride feels really premium,” he shares.
Power and efficiency
The next-gen Ford Ranger gives Philip and Earl a more than capable driving package with a reliable powertrain that balances power and efficiency.
“Driving to neighboring towns and provinces like Subic, Bataan, Zambales, or all the way to Metro Manila and Tagaytay is so easy and convenient with the next-gen Ranger,” Philip shares. He also raves about its fuel efficiency. “A single full tank was almost enough for our 14-day stay in Baguio,” he adds.
Earl, who frequently drives around Cebu because of the nature of his job, applauded the vehicle’s driving capabilities across different terrains. “I have clients who live far from the city and up in the mountains as well, so it’s great to have a truck that is so capable to take me wherever I need to go,” he says.
Earl and Philip both love the technology that is equipped in the next-gen Ranger. For Philip, the Apple Carplay and 360-degree camera are some of the most useful driver-assist technologies that make driving both a safe and interactive experience.
With the introduction of FordPass last year, both owners are enjoying remote access to their next-gen Ranger trucks with a simple tap on their mobile devices. “We are all aware of how hot it can get in our country. With FordPass, I can remotely start my truck and turn on the air conditioner. My passengers are definitely happy and excited to ride the truck,” says Philip.
Both Philip and Earl are happy with choosing the next-gen Ford Ranger as their daily driver. “It’s a highly recommended truck if you’re looking for a vehicle that can drive you to your workplace and take you to new places and destinations on weekends. You get the best of both worlds,” Philip shares.
For Earl, “There are plenty of choices in the market right now. It will depend on the buyer’s preference, but for me, the next-gen Ranger is one of the best in terms of interior, ride comfort, and exterior design.”
The next-gen Ranger comes with a 5-year warranty to enhance the ownership experience. The longer warranty offering will cover the next-gen Ranger for up to 5 years or total mileage of up to 150,000 kilometers, whichever comes first.
Customers can visit the Ford Ranger page on the website to reserve their next-gen Ranger. For more information, visit www.ford.com.ph or your nearest Ford dealer.
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