When it comes to safety while riding, we probably all have similar routines—we gear up, we put our phones in a safe but accessible place, and we head out. If we’re in a group, most of us probably feel a little bit safer, because it’s more likely that someone else in the group can call 911 if there’s a crash or other emergency while we’re out.
What happens if we’re riding solo, though? There are a few options, including expensive emergency beacons, BMW’s proprietary ECALL system. At least one motorcycle helmet design that calls emergency services automatically is in the works, but there’s no telling if or when it will make it to market. Now perpetual tech developer Bosch is trying its hand at an automatic emergency call system for motorcyclists called Help Connect.
The system relies on what it calls an ‘intelligent crash algorithm installed in the vehicle’s inertial sensor unit’. That algorithm interacts with a Bosch smartphone app to transmit information including location data to a Bosch Service Center. In the event of a crash, you can theoretically get help to your location very quickly, even if you’re unconscious.
“Help Connect draws on information from the Bosch MSC motorcycle stability control, and more specifically its inertial sensor unit. One hundred times a second, this integrated sensor measures acceleration and angular velocity, i.e. how fast the angular position of an object changes with time. The sensor can thus accurately calculate the motorcycle’s current position and angle of lean. Moreover, the integrated crash algorithm enables the sensor to detect automatically whether the motorcycle has been involved in an accident, or whether a mishap has caused it to fall over when being parked,” according to the company.
No additional control unit is needed, and it can be integrated with smartphone apps from OEMs. Users can also provide relevant medical data, which will then be transmitted to emergency services if the system is activated by a crash. You can also program emergency contact data, so that Bosch can contact your loved ones to let them know what happened. If activated, Bosch will try to communicate with the affected rider. Should Bosch not receive a response, emergency services will be sent to your rescue immediately.
Now, the bad news: Initial rollout for this system will only be available for riders who live in Germany, and there’s no indication if or when it will be available elsewhere. Once you activate the service, you’ll be able to use either German or English to speak with Bosch from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.