Mobility Solutions

Bosch motorcycle stability control “We want to save thousands of lives” Interview with Dr. Fevzi Yildirim, director of the Bosch competence center for motorcycle safety

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  • January 16, 2014
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

Dr. Fevzi Yildirim studied aerospace engineering, joining research and advance engineering at Bosch in 1998. For three years now, the avid motorcyclist has been responsible for the “two-wheeler safety” product group, focusing on the development of new safety assistance systems for motorcycles. Born in Turkey in 1967, his family moved to Germany when he was 14.

Mr. Yildirim, you and your team have developed a system that can help motorbike riders enormously when cornering. How did you arrive at this solution?
In Germany, every fourth motorcycle accident in which the rider is at fault occurs in a bend. This prompted us to ask whether there is a technology that would allow riders to stay in control of their bikes even when leaning into a bend. It sounds simpler than it actually was. You have to analyze precisely how bikes react in such situations and what physical laws and limits are at play. And then it’s a question of taking the rider safely to within a short distance of that limit – but no further.

Were you always confident that a system like this was feasible?
After a certain time, it was clear in theory which conditions had to be met. Based on driving simulations, we realized that our idea could work. But then the idea had to be put into practice, on the basis of existing systems. Fortunately, the initial results here were also encouraging.

What does your system do exactly?
When riding along a straight stretch, the wheel will tend to lock up when the brakes are applied heavily. Like in a car, an ABS can get around this problem. But conditions are different on bends. A locked-up wheel has to be avoided there at all costs, as otherwise the bike would immediately become unstable. This was why we used a completely new approach to control, making considerable further modifications to the classic ABS algorithm.

Doesn’t it mean that riders will then take more risks and try to take their bikes to the physical limit?
The studies conducted so far do not suggest any change in riding style. On the contrary: the introduction of active safety systems such as ESP in cars has led to a continuous, significant fall in the number of fatal accidents. And we now want to achieve this for motorcycles as well, with ABS and MSC. For example, the main German accident statistics database GIDAS shows that one-quarter of all motorcycle accidents involving injury could be prevented completely by ABS alone. And in a further one-third, the severity of the accident could be reduced. As far as the laws of physics will allow, MSC can further enhance safety in critical bends.

What drives you to develop systems like these?
When I was 16, a school friend died in a moped accident. It still affects me today. Young, inexperienced riders in particular need assistance systems like these, but they’re not the only ones. MSC has the potential to exert a positive influence on two-thirds of all motorcycle accidents in bends in which the rider is at fault.

You develop these systems in Japan. Why there?
In the Bosch “Center of Competence Two-Wheeler Safety” in Yokohama, we have gained a lot of experience through working with the world’s biggest names in motorcycle manufacturing, all of whom are based in Japan. We are also not far away from emerging, price-sensitive markets such as China and India. In addition, Germans and Japanese have a common understanding of the need for comprehensive project planning and solutions that are thought through down to the last detail.

What’s next?
So far, we’ve focused mainly on reactive functions that intervene in a critical situation. The next logical step will be to improve the connections between the various functions and their control units on the bike and so further optimize the existing functions. Then it will be the turn of the predictive functions that can detect critical situations and alert the rider or even initiate early motorbike reactions – light braking, for example. Here too, we can draw on the wide-ranging competence Bosch has already built up in passenger-car systems.

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Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2015, its sales came to 41.7 billion euros, or 59 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector combines the group’s expertise in three mobility domains – automation, electrification, and connectivity – and offers its customers integrated mobility solutions. Its main areas of activity are injection technology and powertrain peripherals for internal-combustion engines, diverse solutions for powertrain electrification, vehicle safety systems, driver-assistance and automated functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, repair-shop concepts, and technology and services for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch is synonymous with important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

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PI8418 - January 16, 2014

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