Although an immensely popular hobby and pastime, motorcycle riding is still considered one of the most dangerous hobbies in the world. Motorbike safety is unfortunately still way behind in terms of development when compared to cars – largely due to the rider being exposed to the elements, lack of any airbags, seat belts and crumple zones.
What is V2V Technology
Advancements in technology are still being made though to help motorbikes catch up in terms of safety, particularly V2V (vehicle to vehicle) technology – which is aiming to minimise accidents and deaths by keeping bikes and other vehicles out of each other’s way.
V2V tech is essentially a Wi-Fi-based communication system that effectively allows vehicles to talk to each other – and provide each other with key information, such as congestion information, and safety warnings.
In terms of motorcycles – this communication system would allow the rider to track any vehicles within their vicinity, even if they can’t physically see them themselves. It would then alert the rider of any potential or imminent collision – with the aim to give enough time to avert an accident.
Developments For Bikers
Various automakers and tech companies are currently combining their efforts to help develop and push the technology forward. Israeli based company Autotalks, is devoted to developing vehicle-to-vehicle technology, and has partnered with Bosch, one of the largest suppliers of automotive components.
Just last year they created a prototype for a B2V (bike to vehicle) communication system, using short range tech to help a vehicle exchange important information with another sporting similar hardware – information like pinpointing location, direction, speed and braking distance.
The hardware, currently being tested with Ducati motorcycles, aims to be compact enough to comfortably be adapted to any bike. A low-cost solution, predicted to prevent nearly one-third of all motorcycle accidents.
The idea that two vehicles or more can reliably receive any necessary information, automatically at any given moment – can be critical to all road users, so that they always know exactly what’s happening and are able to take appropriate action in advance – it’s a tantalizing vision of a safer future.
Further evolution of the V2V system could also be linked with smartphone Wi-Fi, helping cyclists and any other road users – even pedestrians could benefit, with the tech making it safer for people, especially the elderly, crossing the road.
One of the biggest drawbacks though, is that it will only work properly if every vehicle on the roads is using the same sort of technology. Currently there are issues with governments in different locales supporting incompatible radio frequencies (spectrums) allocated for cohesive network communication.
With no dedicated spectrum reserved for V2V communication, vehicles would always suffer interference from vehicles not sporting the same system. As a result, some manufacturers may be discouraged from adopting the new tech in certain markets.
However, there are current calls for government imposed mandates to ensure all new vehicles carry V2V communications – particularly in the US with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
With predictions that death on the road is likely to become the third leading cause of all deaths by 2020, advancements in motorbike technology could be the pivotal, long-term solution that the industry sorely needs.