Unkindly, but perhaps not unfairly, referred to as organ donors on wheels, motorcyclists account for a disproportionate number of roadside fatalities. In Victoria motorcyclists and pillion riders represented 19 per cent of all lives lost on the roads in 2016.
Bosch believes a new digital protective shield for motorcyclists could prevent nearly one third of all motorcycle accidents.
Working with Autotalks, Ducati and Australian company Cohda Wireless, Bosch has developed a prototype smart solution that allows motorcycles and cars to talk to each other.
“We let motorcycles and cars talk to each other, creating a digital protective 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.
“Through safety systems such as ABS and motorcycle stability control, Bosch has already made riding a two-wheeler significantly safer. By connecting motorcycles, we are taking safety to the next level,” Hoheisel said.
According to Juniper Research, by 2022, 50 per cent of new vehicles will be shipped with V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) hardware, a technology that enables real-time short-range communication between vehicles.
The system allows vehicles within a radius of several hundred meters exchange information about vehicle types, speed, position, and direction of travel with each other up to 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.
For example, typically 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 essential information that actively helps avoid accidents.
The public WLAN standard (ITS G5) is used as the basis for the exchange of data between motorcycles and cars. Transmission times of just 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 also transmit data to any surrounding receivers. To allow riders and drivers who are farther away to reliably receive the necessary information, the technology makes use of multi-hopping, which forwards the information automatically from vehicle to vehicle. In critical situations, therefore, all road users know what is happening and are able to take appropriate action in advance.