BMW have unveiled a prototype motorcycle that can actively detect and avoid collisions with other road users. The prototype motorcycle was shown to visitors of the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC) Conference yesterday at BMW Welt in Munich
The modified BMW R1200RS ConnectedRide prototype has ‘crossing and left turn assistant’ fitted, although surely this would be renamed ‘crossing and right turn assistant’ for the UK market.
The system uses GPS and vehicle to vehicle communication to detect if you are about to have a collision. The system will notify other road users vehicles if they are encroaching on the riders right of way. BMW’s press release also states, rather conspicuously, the bike ‘features a large number of further systems designed to prevent accidents’.
The 'Turn Assistant' seems to be a dash mounted visual warning of an approaching vehicle
To enable this level of communication between vehicles BMW, Honda and Yamaha formed the CMC with a view to developing Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) to benefit all road users and enhance rider safety.
As high tech as this new system is it only works in a world where all vehicles are equipped to the same level. It is unclear if this is something that could potentially be retro-fitted to older vehicles. It does also make me wonder if the real area of improvement should be around driver education and awareness. Could this lead to a situation where drivers are over reliant on this kind of tech or would we just come to rely on it as a helping hand, in the same way that we do with sat-navs?
If all vehicles on the road end up be autonomous then it’s all null-and-void anyway.
Finally, with all the chatter going on between cars, bikes and lorries on the roads by the year 2021, how about manufacturers get behind a tracker that runs off the motorised cell network to track stolen bikes too?