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Adaptive Cruise Control detecting motorcyclists?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Mouth, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. With the 'Adaptive Cruise Control' (car uses radar to slow and speed-up in response to traffic in front) becoming fairly prevalent in cars these days (eg. Volkswagon Golf, Ford Focus) does anyone know of the reliability of these with a car approaching a motorcyclist?

    With our small cross section from behind (around 40-80cm generally), I wonder if these radar's will reliably (read: always) pickup a motorcyclist in front? Or should we now be extra concerned about being rammed from behind?

    Anyone have any first hand knowledge or experience with these Adaptive Cruise Control's and a motorbike?
  2. I can't comment on the technology and its effectiveness, but I just wanted to say that the more we automate cars, the less safe I feel. Until cars are completely computer driven, things like this just enable more drivers to focus less.
  3. ^^^^^^ Institutionalized incompetence worries me too! (just to derail the thread further)
  4. From what I understand they (at least partly) use the sensors that are currently in use as parking sensors. I have an 2006 VW Passat with sensors front and rear and it easily picks up bikes (IE my bike in the carport) and even the thin poles that the parking signs etc are attached to so I would be confident that it could detect a m/c at least at close range.

    There is a section in the handbook that I did glance over years ago and although I imagine the technology would have been refined since that time (IE this tech is over 5 yrs old) there is an issue listed where there are bends in the road and the system could slowdown the car because it can mistake the bend in a road as another vehicle moving infront of the car - I wonder if a m/cist moving from one wheel track to another might also confuse it.

    I must admit I'm not a great believer in these systems but I would say from what I have read breifly in the user manual that there is a better chance that the car would slow it self down unnecessarily rather run into you, so my advice would be to keep a greater distance from the car in front of you less it has adaptive cruise control and slams on the brakes for no apparent reason.
  5. If it's the laser/microwave/radar type it should do pretty easily (not that there's anythign else employed for this purpose. If you're looking for documentation, volvo would probably be your best bet, most of their crash avoidance stuff (e.g. that blind spot warning thing) promote being able to detect motorbikes.

    EDIT: actually the laser types (lexus I think) should work better than the radar ones.
  6. I've used some ultrasonic sensors at work (in automation, but not automated cars) and they are very reliable in picking up the peak distance in their scanning area.

    I'm sure they would have tested motorbikes and bicycles too.
  7. #8 wokwon, Sep 26, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    The parking sensors are ultrasonic but the cruise ones are RADAR or doppler LASER based. Ultrasonics don't have the range to work for this application.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Works well enough on my grandma's car. I used to ferry her vehicle between their summer and winter homes, it happily slowed down for bikes.
  9. Chase Weir was and probably still is an absolute ****ing idiot who didn't have the sense to work out how to stop his car, which magically had three major failures all at once so he couldn't disengage the cruise control. Bullshit! Don't use that idiot as an example of technolgy failing. It was pure grey matter failure. He made no real attempt too stop the car.

    While technological improvements do need to be absolutely idiot proof, the idiot needs to make it clear what they want, and in his case he did not.
  10. The majority of the systems are designed to also prevent collisions with pedestrians so i would also expect them to be capable of detecting a motorcycle equally well or better.

    However the systems do freak me out, the fact that one can allow the car to take control of all speed/braking related decisions is moderately terrifying.
  11. Yes, because humans do such a bang-up fantastic job of it first time, every time. :wink:
  12. Sorry I can't add anymore insight into your question. The nature of the topic itself is a can of worms, and I believe the answer will be the only guarantee it will work is if the m/c remains static in relation to the car.

    I did see a segment on one of the current affairs programs lauding the lifesaving potential of 'intelligent cruise control of the future'. A life saver of the future they excitedly explained is available NOW!!! (shouted for emphasis)

    The reporter did a five minute slot on the amazing technology and how you didn't need to brake as all of the braking was done for you. A demonstration was done showing all you needed to do was steer the car. Amazing stuff.

    Then the same way we get our terms and conditions quickly thrown in at the end of a commercial, at the last possible moment of the segment they quickly pointed out that the tech stuff wasn't capable of adapting fast enough to deal with traffic merging from on ramps.
    The driver would have to over ride the 'intelligence' of the vehicle and slow down themselves. Still, they are adamant it is a lifesaver.

    So, teach drivers to ignore their brakes and when the chips are down ask them to brake. Makes sense.

    The question is, could a motorcycle splitting into the radar of an 'intelligent' car cause a ten car pile up? Can't wait to find out.
  13. Am I seriously expected to believe that standing on the brake pedal would not have stopped the car? Oh, hang on, it did, when someone who wasn't a total fwit suggested it.

    I've not had a cruise control failure, but I have had several throttles stick wide open over the years and dealing with it is not hard.

    The truth is, unpalatable though it may be to some (myself included), automated electronic systems fuck up less than humans. A lot less. Whilst I may have technical reservations about removing control functions from a competent driver, I have none about removing them from the other 90+% of muppets out there. I know it can reasonably be argued that said drivers will then focus less on the driving task but I would counter argue that most don't bloody focus anyway. If adaptive cruise control means that the car prevents them from mowing me down whilst they have their breakfast and read the paper, that's a plus in my book.
  14. At least it will prevent taiilgaters
  15. Yep - the volvos with the blind spot sensors brake if you indicate to change lane and something pops up there.

    EDIT: check that, no - nobody ****ing indicates
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Heh heh heh, this is relevant to my interests
  17. It has been around for a while now. It was released on the S Class Merc about 6 years ago and BMW quickly followed suit on the 7 series. An on coming cop can detect me speeding on a bike from 800 meters away. So clearly the technology works great.
  18. Yep it does. From experience drove my dads car down to motogp using adaptive last year and there was a bike in front of me. He slowed down for a speed camera which i hadn't seen and effetively saved me the ticket because i had missed it. good on ya mate!