Bosch unveils technology for increased motorcycle safety

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Bosch, in collaboration with Autotalks, Ducati and Australian company Cohda Wireless, has developed a prototype smart solution to reduce the number of motorcycle deaths.

Motorcyclists are among the most at-risk road users, around 18 times more at risk of being killed in an accident than drivers, according to Bosch.

In Victoria, motorcyclists and pillion riders accounted for 19 per cent of all lives lost on the roads in 2016.

In Germany alone, there were approximately 30,000 motorcycle accidents in 2016, around 600 of which were fatal.

Bosch accident research found motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent nearly one-third of motorcycle accidents.

“We let motorcycles and cars talk to each other, creating a digital protective shield for riders,” Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, a member of the Bosch board of management, said.

The aim is to prevent dangerous situations from occurring in the first place.

Hoheisel said safety systems such as ABS and motorcycle stability control already made riding two-wheelers safer, but adding connectivity will enhance the level of safety.

Hoheisel explained that through the new technology, vehicles within a radius of several hundred meters will exchange information about vehicle types, speed, position, and direction of travel up to 10 ten times a second.

“Long before drivers or their vehicles’ sensors catch sight of a motorcycle, this technology informs them that a motorcycle is approaching, allowing them to adopt a more defensive driving strategy,” he said.

Hoheisel added that dangerous situations usually occur when a motorcycle approaches a car from behind on a multi-lane road, ends up in a car’s blind spot, or changes lanes to pass.

“If the system identifies a potentially dangerous situation, it can warn the rider or driver by sounding an alarm and flashing a warning notice on the dashboard,” he said.

The public WLAN standard (ITS G5) is used as the basis for the exchange of data between motorcycles and cars.

Transmission times of a few milliseconds between transmitter and receiver mean that participating road users can generate and transmit important information relating to the traffic situation.

Parked or idling vehicles can also transmit data to any surrounding receivers.

To allow riders and drivers who are further away to receive the necessary information, the technology also uses multi-hopping, which forwards the information automatically from vehicle to vehicle.