Former All Black hooker and Honda ambassador Andrew Hore speaks at the Farm Angel launch hosted by Oamaru Honda. Supplied photo
North Otago farmers took advantage of their first chance to
see new ATV safety technology in action.
Oamaru Honda demonstrated ''Farm Angel'' at a special evening
on May 7. The system has been developed by Blue Wing Honda
and Blackhawk Tracking Systems and is being trialled by
Landcorp Farming Ltd.
Farm Angel focuses on driver behaviour and communication. It
has a GPS device, route-tracking and monitoring to give
feedback to the farm manager on what the driver is doing with
the bike, including acceleration, speed and tilting.
Alerts are activated automatically if the driver breaches
An ATV fitted with Farm Angel will not let a driver start it
up without a key-fob or medical wristband that activates the
ignition. If the bike rolls or tips over, a predetermined
telephone number is called. Drivers can also send manual
requests for help via the fob or a smartphone app.
Oamaru Honda sales manager Leighton Selfe said more than 80
people attended the evening, where former All Black and Honda
ambassador Andrew Hore hosted a question-and-answer session.
There was equal interest in Farm Angel and the new Honda
side-by-side ATVs, which was another response to safety
improvements, Mr Selfe said.
There was no release date yet for Farm Angel, as that would
depend on the Landcorp trials.
ATVs were involved in about 850 farm injuries and five deaths
a year. Coroners had repeatedly called for easy-to-activate
alarms or communication systems.
Blue Wing Honda eventually wanted Farm Angel to be standard
on every new ATV and available to install on any farm
vehicle, general manager Alan Petrie said.
In the meantime, it still recommended all ATV drivers wear
helmets and take approved training courses.
- by Sally Brooker