Feeling one with your motorbike as you roar down the road is a wondrous feeling familiar to many old motorcyclists. But for many of today’s riders – younger recruits especially – you can’t really connect with your vehicle unless you can talk to it through your phone. That’s where our software-writing wunderkind Ambar Srivastava comes in.
At just 26, Ambar has established himself as an indispensable cog in Savic Motorcycles’ growing software machine. Since October 2021, he’s been in charge of developing the software for our mobile rider’s app – a proprietary app that lets riders check their latest riding statistics, their bike’s location, and its battery-charge status. In time, the app will put all the performance and diagnostic information on the bike’s touch-dash, as well as a full suite of journey-planning tools, into riders’ hands.
“Ultimately, you’ll be able to see everything on the dash on your phone,” says Ambar. “We’re working on a suite of information that includes route planning, bike configuration, predictive maintenance, over-the-air updates… but these are all down the road. Right now, there’s a long list, and I think we’ll never run out of new ideas!”
‘New ideas’ would be a good title for Ambar’s career to date. When he left his native Perth in 2015, he was midway through an engineering degree at the University of Western Australia – where he got heavily involved in Formula SAE, the student design competition that also drew in Dennis (at UWA) and Bitta (at RMIT). At the University of Melbourne, he completed his degree, enrolled in a Master in Mechatronics, and of course, was dragged happily into the university’s SAE team – where in 2018 he became integration lead in the development of an electric racing car.
“That’s where my interest in EVs began,” says Ambar. “I’d always loved cars and Formula 1, and towards the end of my Masters I got an internship at Ford, which is where I met Dennis. Then when I saw he was building the C-Series, I got back in touch and asked if I could help. I’d always wanted to be in a start-up environment with a young team and lots of cool development happening – and here I am!”
After working with Adrian on the bike’s electrical wiring and engineering simulations, Ambar shifted to developing the rider’s app with Kim, Sasha and Arpit – a move that better reflects his coding and integration expertise. “I just love working with these guys,” he says. “They have so much knowledge, and are always happy to share it. I’m hoping to be with this team for a long time!”
Ambar’s life at Savic is about to get a whole lot busier, with testing and fine-tuning of the app with a handful of customers through December, followed by a formal launch and release to the app stores early next year.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the first bike out on the road, and hopefully the app will be out with it,” says Ambar. “Customers today want to be connected to their vehicles and their homes in practical and meaningful ways, and that’s the whole point of what we’re doing. Our riders will be able to stay connected to their bikes night and day, and know exactly how they’re performing, and what they might need to run at optimal capacity.
“Being connected is at the core of what we’re trying to do – and it’s one journey I am just thrilled to be a part of.”