Motorcyclists are among the most at-risk road users, being 18 times more at risk of being killed in an accident than drivers. Last year, there were approximately 30,000 motorcycle accidents in Germany alone, roughly 600 of which were fatal.
One of the main reasons is that riders of two-wheelers are often overlooked in road traffic, both at intersections and during passing. Bosch wants to change that. With its partners Autotalks, Cohda Wireless, and Ducati, it has developed a prototype smart solution.
According to estimates by Bosch accident research, motorcycle-to-car- communication could prevent nearly one-third of motorcycle accidents.
Here is how it works. Up to 10 times a second, vehicles within a radius of several hundred metros exchange information about vehicle types, speed, position, and direction of travel. Long before drivers or their vehicles’ sensors catch sight of a motorcycle, this technology informs them that a motorcycle is approaching, allowing them to adopt a more defensive driving strategy.
For example, typical dangerous situations arise when a motorcycle approaches a car from behind on a multi-lane road, ends up in a car’s blind spot, or changes lanes to pass. If the system identifies a potentially dangerous situation, it can warn the rider or driver by sounding an alarm and flashing a warning notice on the dashboard. In this way, all road users receive essential information that actively helps avoid accidents.
The public WLAN standard is used as the basis for the exchange of data between motorcycles and cars. Transmission times of just a few milliseconds between transmitter and receiver mean that participating road users can generate and transmit important information relating to the traffic situation. Parked or idling vehicles also transmit data to any surrounding receivers.
To allow riders and drivers who are farther away to reliably receive the necessary information, the technology makes use of multi-hopping, which forwards the information automatically from vehicle to vehicle. In critical situations, therefore, all road users know what is happening and are able to take appropriate action in advance.