“New mobility and concierge services”
Harley Davidson purists look away now: not only is this Hog electric, it’s getting a permanent connection to IBM’s cloud via a new smartphone application.
Harley, battling plunging sales, has pinned hopes on its much-hyped and much-delayed pivot electric range, headlined by the LiveWire, which hit the market this year.
And a release today from IBM shows that the company has been working closely with the motorcycle manufacturer to develop an app for the Harley LiveWire.
This is underpinned by IBM’s cloud, which will crunch performance data, let riders check battery levels, inform them if the bike has been tampered with, and support “new mobility and concierge services.”
Whether that’s any fillip to the iconic motorcycle manufacturer remains to be seen: Harley sales fell 10.2 percent in the US last year – the fourth consecutive year of falling US retail sales – and 6.1 percent globally.
Tthe company is clearly hoping that the offering will help it to attract a younger, hipper market than its core baby boomer buyers.
IBM said: “LiveWire’s H-D Connect service… built on the IBM Cloud, will deliver new mobility and concierge services… the company is expanding the use of IBM artificial intelligence (AI), analytics and IoT to enhance and evolve the rider’s experience of the vehicle.”
“In order to capture the next generation of motorcycle riders, H-D is working with IBM to transform the everyday experience of riding through the latest technologies and features.”
The 2020 LiveWire says its range is “an estimated 110 miles of urban road”. It is priced at $29,799 in the US, £28,995 in the UK, with pre-orders in the lattter opening soon.
“The next generation of Harley-Davidson riders will demand a more engaged and personalized customer experience,” said Venkatesh Iyer, Vice President, North America IoT and Connected Solutions, Global Business Services, IBM.
“Introducing enhanced capabilities via the IBM Cloud will not only enable new services immediately, but will also provide a roadmap for the journey ahead.”