New ‘digital protection shield’ technology that enables communication between cars and motorcycles could prevent nearly one third of all motorbike accidents, the system’s developer Bosch claims.
Motorcyclists are among the most at-risk road users, the company says, one of the main reasons being that riders are often overlooked in road traffic, both at intersections and during overtaking.
Department for Transport statistics show that 5650 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on UK roads during the year ending September 2016 – an increase of 5% on the previous year.
In order to address this problem Bosch has developed a prototype smart solution alongside its partners Autotalks, Cohda Wireless and Ducati. “We let motorcycles and cars talk to each other, creating a digital protection shield for riders,” said Bosch board of management member Dr Dirk Hoheisel.
Up to ten times a second, connected vehicles within a radius of several hundred meters exchange information about vehicle types, speed, position, and direction of travel.
Long before drivers or their vehicles’ sensors catch sight of a motorcycle, the technology informs them that a bike is approaching, allowing them to adopt a more defensive driving strategy.
For example, typical dangerous situations arise 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. In this way all road users receive information that actively helps avoid accidents.