Three of the industry’s major players have formed a consortium that aims to have new safety features on their motorcycles going forward from 2020 on. BMW, Honda and Yamaha will now cooperate in developing safety-oriented systems for their respective two-wheelers. Why work together? The consortium was formed with the intent of getting these technologies to market sooner.
“In order to speed up more motorcycle-specific safety developments, we intend to cooperate to promote a successful implementation of C-ITS in motorcycles and scooters,” says Mr Tetsuo Suzuki, Operating Officer at Honda Motor Co., Ltd..
The news was announced at the 22nd ITS Wold Congress. The mission of the organization is to work “Towards intelligent mobility and better use of space”.
These same companies are already collaborating on equivalent technologies for cars. They encouraged other manufacturers to do the same in order to increase safety among their customer base.
Antonio Perlot, Secretary General of the ACEM (European Motorcycle Manufacturer Association), stated: “This initiative is fully in line with the ACEM road safety strategy and shows the willingness of the motorcycle industry to increase safety for riders based on very concrete and practical developments.”
While details on the exact technologies in development are scarce, it is expected that they would bear similarities to those currently evolving for cars, albeit with tweaks for 2 and 3-wheeled vehicles. It is expected that the developments will be built on current technology, such as GPS and other wireless communication between vehicles.
Since motorcycles are not as encapsulated as cars, the tech must be specially designed for the rigors of PTW vehicles. Dust, vibration, and exposure to elements will all have to be taken into consideration. Space and weight are also at a premium.
For now, this is only in Europe (via the ACEM: the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers) but it will surely influence what arrives on North American shores as well.
Personally, while I enjoy the necessary increase in mental awareness while riding, I can think of many situations where some of these technologies would supplement my attention and make for a safer ride. Particularly in urban environments, anything that can promote awareness between riders and cars would be welcome.