BMW Motorrad has announced plans to offer a safety option on its bikes that would automatically contact emergency services in the case of a severe accident.
The “Intelligent Emergency Call” system features a vehicle-integrated eCall system that's been available in BMW's cars in Europe since 1999. The system will be extended to BMW motorcycles from next year.
According to BMW, in the case of an emergency or an accident the bike's emergency system sends out the position data to a BMW Call Center to initiate the rescue chain. The system can either be triggered automatically by the bike, or manually by the rider.
Bikes will be equipped with sensors to determine if a particularly bad fall or collision has occurred. In that scenario, the system is automatically triggered and help is sent immediately if the rider fails to respond to the BMW call center. A display in the instrument cluster shows that the eCall has been initiated and an alarm is set off.
If a bike determines the accident to be a minor fall or collision the system waits 25 seconds before alerting the call center, during which time the rider can cancel the call.
Lastly, the rider can initiate the system by pressing the SOS button on the right handlebar. To ensure the button wasn't pressed accidentally, the rider must speak to the call center via the bike's mobile phone network connection. The rider can cancel the call at the press of a button or by turning off the ignition.
According to BMW, the system is able to tell the difference between emergency and non-emergency situations and would not trigger if, say, the bike were dropped while not moving (for example, in a parking lot) or if it hit a pothole.
The system's loudspeaker and microphone are also located near the right handlebar. And the SOS button is protected by a cover, to further protect against accidental use.
According to BMW, the system's sensors are able to detect "events such as collisions with another vehicle or crashing into an obstruction." A banking angle sensor detects high- and low-side incidents. For now, the system will only be available in Europe.