Digital safety shield for motorcycles and cars
We let motorcycles and cars talk to each other, creating a digital safety shield for riders
European road statistics have it that a motorcycle rider is 18 times more at risk of being killed in an accident than car and truck drivers. Numbers like that have driven Bosch, Cohda Wireless, Autotalks, and Ducati to trial some technology to help reduce that risk.
Hagai Zyss, Autotalks’ CEO, quotes statistics that make a strong case for the size of the issue. “According to World Health Organization data from 2015, 23% out of 1.25 million traffic fatalities is a motorcycle rider. A 2013 study conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that motorcyclists have a 26-fold higher risk of death than those who drive other vehicles.”
Zyss added: “A considerable proportion of the drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle claimed that they did not even see the motorcycle approaching. Motorcycles are characterised by their relatively small size, high speed and manoeuvrability, which make it difficult to identify them and predict their movements. B2V will enhance motorcyclists’ safety.”
Bike to vehicle communication
Using ITS G5, a standard used for wireless connectivity in vehicles, the partner companies have developed a prototype that will have motorcycles and larger vehicles know when they are in proximity of each on the on the road.
“We let motorcycles and cars talk to each other, creating a digital safety shield for riders,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, a member of the Bosch board of management. “The goal is to prevent dangerous situations from occurring in the first place.”
The prototype works like this. At a rate of up to 10 times a second, vehicles within a radius of a few hundred metres send out information about their vehicle type, speed, position, and direction of travel. Everyone knows what’s around, be it a moving or parked vehicle, and adjusts their driving / riding accordingly. If there is no adjustment, and the systems senses imminent danger, sounds an alarm and flashes an on-screen warning on the dashboard.
Research conducted by Bosch shows that a connectivity solution such as this could prevent one-third of all accidents involving motorcycles.
The system is not a replacement for riders’ common sense and skill levels, it will simply let other road users know where motorcycles are, and vice versa.