Pump the brakes, turbo.
Blindspot detection systems are ubiquitous among today’s automobiles. The Ducati Multistrada V4 S was the first motorcycle to implement the technology in 2021. While the monitoring devices notify drivers and riders of potential dangers, the systems still leave room for human error. New vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies are aimed at closing that loophole and increasing on-road safety.
The France-based ADAS-AD Large Project focuses on the underdeveloped communication between automobiles and motorcycles. France’s Technical Union of Automobile, Motorcycle, and Cycle Mobility Testing and Research Center (UTAC CERAM) recently acquired British vehicle testing company Millbrook, and both firms will work on the new V2X system prioritizing motorcycle safety.
“The V2X has great potential in terms of road safety for motorcyclists,” noted UTAC CERAM Millbrook Project Activity Manager Théo Charbonneau. “It lies in particular in its ability to perceive them in the flow of traffic in order to inform vehicles and let them react, as a priority, which tend to be more stable on the road.”
However, the ADAS-AD Large Project doesn’t just inform users and let them react, it takes over if the driver doesn’t heed the system’s warnings. In common crash scenarios such as a car turning in front of a motorcycle, the system delivers an alert and applies the brakes if the operator fails to act.
Conversely, a motorcycle equipped with the same V2X system doesn’t automatically intervene in the same situation. That’s because motorcycles aren’t self-balancing vehicles, and introducing a braking force at that speed could cause more problems for the rider (not to mention they have the right of way).
While UTAC CERAM Millbrook’s new V2X communication technology is an encouraging step forward, it will take a sweeping change for manufacturers to adopt the same, non-proprietary system. Of course, Bosch developed the new adaptive cruise control feature found on the 2021 BMW R 1250 RT, KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, and aforementioned Ducati Multistrada V4 S, but a V2X system will need to span both automotive and motorcycle models.
Regardless of the hurdles, we hope more firms improve on V2V and V2X technology in the future, as motorcyclists gain the most from the safety benefits.