Bosch has developed a new system that automatically calls for help when a motorcycle accident happens. Called Help Connect, the digitally connected emergency call system uses an intelligent crash algorithm installed in the vehicle’s inertial sensor unit to detect accidents. Via a smartphone app, Help Connect transmits information about the accident scene and the rider to the Bosch Service Center, and from there to the emergency services, helping them find the victim more quickly. An automatic message of this sort can cut the time it takes for emergency services to arrive on the scene by up to half (according to EU project Harmonised eCall European Deployment, I_HeERO).
Bosch has developed this system to increase a riders’ chance of survival. The risk of being killed in a crash is still 20 times higher for motorcyclists than for car drivers. When an accident happens, every second counts. The quicker motorcyclists receive assistance, the greater their chances of survival. With the connected emergency call solution for motorcycles Bosch is speeding up the rescue process.
“Help Connect adds a digital guardian angel to the broad Bosch portfolio of motorcycle safety systems,” said Bosch board of management member, Harald Kroeger.
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.
It does not require an additional control unit, which makes integrating it into the motorcycle more straightforward. It connects to Bosch’s Vivatar emergency app via Bluetooth. Other smartphone apps, such as motorcycle manufacturers’ proprietary apps, can also be integrated into the emergency call solution. Apart from information about location, Help Connect also transmits any medical data provided by the rider to the Bosch Service Center. These data may prove vital for the emergency services. On request, other people may also be automatically contacted with news of the accident.
The emergency call service will initially be available for customers from Germany. Users will be able to communicate with the Bosch Service Center in German or English from any European country. If the accident is severe and the rider fails to respond, emergency services are immediately directed to the scene. As smartphones are generally carried close to the body, riders who have been in an accident can be quickly located even if they were thrown off their vehicle in the crash.
Like all Bosch assistance systems, Help Connect is the result of close collaboration between engineers and the company’s in-house accident research.
“Before we develop products that increase safety for motorcyclists, we need to understand the critical situations they face,” Kroeger explains. Access to real motorcycle accident data lets accident researchers provide the impetus for safety innovations. Bosch went to great lengths in developing the automatic emergency call system. Some 18 crash tests were carried out solely to analyze specific accident scenarios and demonstrate the functionality of Help Connect.
Enhancing motorcyclists’ safety has been a major concern for Bosch for many years. With the motorcycle ABS it introduced 25 years ago and the MSC motorcycle stability control launched in 2013, the globally leading supplier of motorcycle safety systems has already made motorcycle riding much safer. Radar-based assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning system, and blind-spot detection assistant round out the Bosch safety portfolio.