Research conducted by Bosch finds that motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent almost one third of motorcycle related accidents, in which riders are 18 times more likely to die than car drivers. This has encouraged the company to develop what they call a “digital protective shield” for riders. Digital visibility would warn the driver of a car about a motorcycle’s close presence.
“Through safety systems such as ABS and motorcycle stability control, Bosch has already made riding a two-wheeler significantly safer. By connecting motorcycles, we are taking safety to the next level,” Bosch management board member Dr. Dirk Hoheisel said.
In Germany alone, approximately 30,000 motorcycle accidents were recorded last year. 600 were fatal. Bosch found that one of the biggest reasons was that drivers of cars overlooked bikers on the road — both while passing and at intersections.
The goal of the new technology is to prevent such incidents from occurring, by providing warning notices on dashboards. The data would be exchanged by vehicle transmitters through public WLAN and ITS-G5. Potential hazards and nearby motorcycles would then show up on satellite navigation. Information about a bike would include direction of travel, position, speed, acceleration, and vehicle type.
This is an interesting idea and possibly applicable to much of European infrastructure, but it does not address standardization or availability. While smart vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology would account for much of human error, the best ways for mankind to prevent such accidents are still high levels of motorist awareness, etiquette, education, and responsibility.