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Fewer accidents: Bosch is teaching motorcycles how to see and feel

Automated driving technologies are making their way from car to motorcycle

  • Bosch board of management member Hoheisel: “Bosch is taking motorcycling safety to a whole new level”
  • One in seven motorcycle accidents could be prevented using radar-based assistance systems
  • Improved safety and enjoyment: radar is becoming a sensory organ for motorcycles
  • New Bosch technology to feature in production models from KTM and Ducati

Stuttgart, Germany – Cars can be made safer through the addition of crumple zones, airbags, and seat belts. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, face considerably more danger when riding: the risk of dying in an accident is up to 20 times higher for them than for car drivers. In fact, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in Germany went up by 9 percent last year (source: German Federal Statistics Office). Bosch has a clear vision: no more fatalities for motorcyclists in road traffic. That is why the company has developed a new safety package for motorcycles, comprising adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and blind-spot detection. This package is built on technologies that also enable automated driving in cars. The motorcycle manufacturers KTM and Ducati will include the new rider assistance systems in production models as soon as 2020. For Bosch, this is the next step along the path toward accident-free riding – one that doesn’t reduce enjoyment and doesn’t take away motorcyclists’ responsibility. “Bosch is taking motorcycling safety to a whole new level,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

Bosch is taking motorcycling safety to a whole new level.

Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH

More safety, more enjoyment

Studies show that motorcycle accidents have two main causes: riders losing control, and collisions with other vehicles (source: Bosch accident research). In the future, with the help of Bosch technology, these dangerous traffic situations won’t even occur in the first place. Another reason to equip vehicles with more intelligent safety technology is that nine out of ten accidents are due to human error. As the world’s leading supplier of motorcycle safety technology, Bosch has already made riding on two wheels considerably safer with assistance systems such as ABS and MSC motorcycle stability control. Now the company is going one step further. According to Bosch accident research estimates, radar-based assistance systems could prevent one in seven motorcycle accidents. These electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can. The technology underpinning these systems is a combination of radar sensor, brake system, engine management, and HMI (Human Machine Interface). Giving motorcycles radar as a sensory organ enables these new motorcycle assistance and safety functions while providing an accurate picture of the vehicle’s surroundings. As a result, these assistance functions not only increase safety, they also enhance enjoyment and convenience by making life easier for riders. “The motorcycle of the future must be able to see and feel,” says Geoff Liersch, head of the Bosch Two-Wheeler and Powersports business unit.

Capabilities of the new Bosch technologies for motorcycles:

ACC adaptive cruise control
Riding in heavy traffic and maintaining the correct distance to the vehicle in front takes a great deal of concentration and is strenuous over longer periods. ACC adjusts the vehicle speed to the flow of traffic and maintains the necessary safe following distance. This can effectively prevent rear-end collisions caused by insufficient distance to the vehicle in front. And not only does ACC offer riders more convenience, it also allows them to concentrate more on the road, particularly in high-density traffic.

Forward collision warning system
In road traffic, even the briefest lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. Bosch has developed a collision warning system for motorcycles to reduce the risk of a rear-end collision or to mitigate its consequences. The system is active as soon as the vehicle starts and it supports the rider in all relevant speed ranges. If the system detects that another vehicle is dangerously close and the rider does not react to the situation, it warns the rider by way of an acoustic or optical signal.

Blind-spot detection
This system keeps a lookout in all directions to help motorcyclists change lanes safely. A radar sensor serves as the blind-spot recognition system’s electronic eye, registering objects in hard-to-see areas. Whenever there is a vehicle in the rider’s blind spot, the technology warns them by way of an optical signal, for example in the rear-view mirror.

For Bosch, motorcycle assistance systems are another stepping stone toward making the vision of emissions-free, accident-free, and stress-free mobility a reality.

Tags: connected mobility

Mobility Solutions is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2017, its sales came to 47.4 billion euros, or 61 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers. The Mobility Solutions business sector pursues a vision of mobility that is accident-free. emissions-free, and stress-free, and combines the group’s expertise in the domains of automation, electrification, and connectivity. For its customers, the outcome is integrated mobility solutions. The business sector’s 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 402,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2017). The company generated sales of 78.1 billion euros in 2017. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology.

As a leading IoT company, Bosch offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility, and connected manufacturing. It uses its expertise in sensor technology, software, and services, as well as its own IoT cloud, to offer its customers connected, cross-domain solutions from a single source. 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.” The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiary and regional companies in 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering, and sales network covers nearly every country in the world. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. At 125 locations across the globe, Bosch employs some 64,500 associates in research and development.

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com, www.iot.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, www.twitter.com/BoschPresse.

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