Thursday, April 26, 2018

Connected Cars? Been There, Done That. But is a Connected Motorcycle In Your Future?

Vehicle Communication Chipset Maker Autotalks Joins Industry Consortium on a Mission to Minimize Motorcycle Accidents

A Yamaha motorcycle
Photo: Rainmaker47 (posted to Wikimedia Commons)
The penetration of safety-related tech into cars, such as lane-departure warning and collision avoidance systems, is increasingly familiar to motorists. Evidence suggests that these systems are producing good results. Research by the Institute for Highway Safety, for example, finds that automotive safety technology has reduced accidents due to lane-change issues by 14 percent and injuries associated with these incidents by 23 percent.

But what about technology to reduce risk to motorcycle drivers, who, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are 26 times more likely to have a fatal accident?

The Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC), a collaboration between manufacturers, suppliers, researchers and associations to make motorcycles part of the future of connected mobility, has made the effort to put high tech to work to increase motorcycle safety part of its core mission.

Founding members of CMC include BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha, and other member motorcycle manufacturers include Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki. And now, CMC has the collaboration of Autotalks, a V2X (Vehicle to Everything) communication chipset manufacturer that recently joined the consortium.

Autotalks will work with other CMC members to help realize the vision of a uniform motorcycle platform for V2M (Vehicle-to-Motorcycle) communication. Specifically, Autotalks and other CMC members will work together to enhance Cooperative-Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) applications in motorcycles in a way that will help minimize motorcycle accidents.

Autotalks’ V2M solution, launched in June 2017, is based on a second generation V2X chipset developed by the company which allows motorcyclists and other drivers to receive alerts on life threatening situations in order to avoid road accidents. By joining CMC, Autotalks becomes part of an industry-wide effort to have motorcycles be a part of the C-ITS conversation which will significantly contribute to their safety on the road.

The technology enables detection of motorcycles that are not visible to the human eye, cameras or any other sensors. The advantages of the Autotalks' solution include, among other things, simple integration, low power consumption, the smallest form factor, highest range of operating temperature and smallest physical size, which results in its resistance to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of residing on a motorcycle.

Hagai Zyss, Autotalks’ CEO, said: “As an early innovator in motorcycle to vehicle communication, Autotalks is excited to be part of CMC and help set an interoperable, unified and practical framework for connected motorcycles which starts with safety. Together, we'll work to save the lives of the most vulnerable road users. According to studies, V2M communication will reduce road accidents by 80%."

"Motorcycles have higher chances of being involved in a car crash which is highly likely to end up in a fatality," Zyss continued. "Studies show that in approximately one third of motorcycle accidents the motorbike is not visible to the car driver. This is one of the reasons why motorcycles are at a greater risk to end up in a crash. Autotalks is committed to minimizing motorcycle accidents until there will be zero accidents on our roadways.”

Hennes Fischer, Chairman of CMC communication activities and Senior Advisor to Yamaha Motor Europe, said: “CMC is looking forward to Autotalks’ contribution to the consortium in defining a future motorcycle communication system. As a pioneer in vehicle communication, Autotalks will add knowledge and experience and will bring CMC closer to its goal of making motorcycling safer.”

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