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connected vehicle technology and bike safety

Experts from the motorcycle industry, the European Commission, the US Department of Transportation and other organisations met at the ITS World Congress in Montreal, Canada, on 1 November to discuss the future of intelligent transport systems and motorcycling. The discussions took place during the ‘Motorcycle talk ITS’ roundtable moderated by the Secretary General of the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), Antonio Perlot. The participants examined some of the most important initiatives in the field of connected vehicles as well as as the challenges and opportunities offered by cooperative ITS (intelligent transport systems).
Commenting on the future of technology, Hennes Fischer, senior adviser to Yamaha Motor Europe and member of the Connected Motorcycle Consortium, said: “Vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems will have a considerable effect on motorcycle safety. Technologies such as ‘motorcycle approach indication and warning’ will enhance the digital conspicuity of motorcyclists and reduce the probability of accidents, such as those that happen at intersections because of car drivers overlooking motorcyclists”.

Fischer also explained that our industry is working together with other stakeholders in a large-scale European project to set the basis for an embedded eCall system for motorcycles that can operate across the European Union. This project will be completed by the end of the year and will pave the way for a future standard for eCall devices for motorcycles. Under the European eCall Regulation, the European Commission must assess by 2021 whether the scope of this regulation should be extended to other categories of vehicles such as motorcycles and mopeds.

Matthias Mörbe, vice-president for two-wheeler engineering solutions at Bosch, discussed whether motorcycles could be fitted with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) developed for cars. In this respect, he said that “powered-two wheelers require a dedicated approach and specific engineering solutions. Intelligent transport system applications designed specifically for cars cannot be directly transferred to motorcycles”.

John Lenkeit, technical director at Dynamic Research, an American company specialising in vehicle dynamics and accidentology, stressed that “ADAS for cars should be able to detect all vulnerable road users including motorcycle riders”. As a recent study released by Dynamic Research points out: “If ADAS systems are unable to correctly identify motorcycles, a possible consequence of broad ADAS implementation may be an increase in car-motorcycle accidents even as car accidents decrease.”

Claire Depré, Head of the intelligent transport systems unit of the European Commission said: “As we expressed in our recent GEAR2030 report, the European Commission sees connectivity and increased automation of transport as major trends that are shaping the future of European mobility. We believe that the automotive industry as a whole must embrace the upcoming revolution of digital, automated and connected driving.”

For his part, Robert Kreeb, chief of the intelligent technologies research division at the US Department of Transportation, said that: “Connectivity and increased automation hold the promise of addressing many of the major challenges facing today’s transport system, such as user safety, energy efficiency, air quality, traffic congestion, and to enhance the drivers’ comfort and convenience. In the long run, automation could have a revolutionary impact on travel behaviour, social inclusion and urban development, environment, entertainment and commerce, growth and jobs.”

Huei-Ru Tseng, deputy technical manager of the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute, said: “C-ITS technologies will give motorcyclists as digital presence, increasing their safety.” He added that ITS systems “must be specifically designed for motorcycle riders”.
Concluding, Perlot said: “There is no doubt that connected vehicles will play a major role in increasing transport efficiency, sustainability and mobility in Europe. Cars and motorcycles must be part of this new connected world.”

Illustration: Bennetts


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