Mercedes introduced the first car with anti-lock brakes (ABS) in 1978. It took another decade for the technology to make it to motorcycles with the 1988 BMW K100. Similarly, Mercedes’ W220 S-Class and CL-Class models adopted the first form of adaptive cruise control in 1999. We’re just seeing the feature reach the motorcycle market with this year’s Ducati Multistrada V4 and KTM 1290 Super Adventure. Point being, automotive advancements typically take some time to reach those of us on two wheels.
To help develop motorcycle technology within the larger automotive ecosystem, Yamaha, BMW, Honda, KTM, Suzuki, and Triumph agreed to the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC). Modern cars come equipped with advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) that utilize radar and cameras and the six brands know how important it is for motorcycles to comply with the numerous advancements. For that reason, the CMC renewed its pact in December, 2020, ensuring continued collaboration on developing technologies through 2021 and onwards.
Since 2016, CMC set out to establish a standard specification for motorcycle-specific vehicle-to-everything (V2X) systems. Wireless features like vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure fall under the V2X umbrella and allow vehicles of different makes to harmoniously communicate on the roadways. The CMC agreement will standardize essential functioning requirements for these systems in motorcycles.
“The future traffic will be increasingly connected and motorcycles cannot stay aside,” said Yamaha Executive Officer Takuya Kinoshita. “Motorcycles need to stay a solution and remain an enjoyable mean of transport for the decades to come. This is why activities like CMC are so important for the motorcycle industry.”
While the consortium strives to enhance rider aids and motorcycle connectivity, they also realize the potential of such technologies further distracting riders and drivers alike. With prototype trials and human-to-machine interface testing, the CMC hopes to integrate motorcycles into the connected traffic system without intruding on rider attention and security. The six companies also encourage fellow OEMs, suppliers, and car manufacturers to join the alliance, and with any luck, we’ll see these features trickle down to motorcycles much sooner than we have in the past.