Accidents: More safety for motorcyclists in the future

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More safety for motorcyclists in the future

Accidents: More safety for motorcyclists in the future-future

Source: BMW Group MediaPool

As soon as the weather gets better in spring, motorcycle accidents regularly skyrocket. Above all, collisions in the intersection area are often tragic. With the ConnectedRide system, BMW wants to make two-wheelers more visible to motorists in the future and prevent serious accidents.

D.he weather is nice. Much too good for this time of year, way too good for the start of the motorcycle season. The bikers are too fast because the road conditions allow it, but not their driving skills, which are rusty after the long winter. And drivers, on the other hand, are not used to vehicles again, most of which accelerate twice, often three times, as fast as their own. The BMW motorcycle department is now announcing the development of an assistance system called ConnectedRide, which is intended to make motorcyclists and drivers aware of each other.

There is hardly a better time to announce such a research project than the first half of April, which in some cases is wonderfully beautiful. Two years ago, when the weather turned out to be as beautiful as it was by leaps and bounds, the number of serious accidents involving motorbikes doubled in some regions of Germany. One reason: Motorcycles are often overlooked at intersections. "Analyzes have shown that the most common cause of accidents at intersections is the inattentiveness and misjudgment of drivers," says BMW spokeswoman Beata Telingo.

If the motorist has entered the intersection prematurely, the motorcyclist hardly has a chance. “A motorcycle takes around three times as long to evade as a car,” says Bernt Spiegel, author of the standard work “The Upper Half of the Motorcycle”, which has just been published for the ninth time. If the motorist overlooks the motorcyclist even for a short time, the damage can hardly be averted. ConnectedRide should counteract this in the future. This assistance system is currently in the test phase at BMW, as is the ConnectedDrive related to the cars. In both cases, the vehicles should communicate with one another and draw attention to one another.

"As the risk of a collision increases, the headlights on the motorcycle are gradually modulated, the headlights intensity increased, and additional LED warning lights are activated on the side of the vehicle to widen the silhouette," explains Beata Telingo. "If there is an acute risk of a collision, the motorcycle’s horn will sound." The new K1300 S sports tourer with 175 hp is currently used as the test vehicle. Equipped with a gearshift, this massive bike accelerated from 0 to 100 km / h in 2.9 seconds in a test by Europe’s largest specialist magazine "Motorrad". If you compare this value with that of a 420 hp Porsche 911 4S (0-100 km / h in 4.9 s), it is easy to imagine how quickly motorbikes scurry across the intersection from a standing start.

“The greater acceleration behavior is the biggest difference between the motorcycle and car test setup,” says Felix Klanner, the BMW engineer responsible for ConnectedDrive. In addition, one does not have all the options for advance warning with motorcycles. In the car, for example, it is also possible to brake briefly, which is triggered automatically, in order to shake up the driver – this could lead to the motorcyclist falling. The mirroring of a warning message on the windshield is also reserved for the car.

So there are still many problems to be solved, but according to the BMW engineer, the standard introduction is not expected for five to ten years anyway. ConnectedDrive and ConnectedRide in series only make sense if the new safety systems for communication between vehicles can be widely implemented. After all, information such as road data, position and speed must be exchanged in fractions of a second via protocols and frequencies that have been standardized by the cross-manufacturer working group “Car 2 Car Communication Consortium”. If only one out of two vehicles has a transmitter and receiver, everything stays the same: increased risk of accidents.

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