http://www.bikesales.com.au/news/2011/bikes-to-get-cartype-safety-technology-23567 Bikes to get car-type safety technology? Bikes to get car-type safety technology? words - Steve Kealy A British automotive safety organisation is seriously looking at adapting safety features from cars to bikes The British Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) is investigating how safety features commonly found on modern cars can be adapted for use on tomorrow’s motorcycles. The intention is to establish how best to alert riders to dangers on the road. Proof-of-concept tests on what is being called the Saferider systems have been carried out in simulators and on road bikes. The systems tested include warnings about speed limits, the tightness of road bends and information about other vehicles to aid lane changing. Statistics suggest that in Britain, about 22 percent of all road fatalities involve bike riders and motorcycling is the only mode of transport which is seeing a rise in the number of deaths. Mira engineers fitted a Yamaha Tenere and a Triumph Sprint with the safety systems so they could be tried out on Mira’s test track. According to Jonathan Moore, an advanced engineering consultant with the project, making car-style safety systems work on motorcycles was "challenging" because of all the distractions which riders face. "One of the most difficult things is getting the rider's attention," he said. "There's a high level of ambient noise and vibration to deal with." Mira has been investigating various feedback systems to get the attention of riders and warn them about other vehicles, prepare them for the road ahead or give help at junctions, but without disrupting concentration. Components used in the tests include laser scanners, haptic handlebar grips and gloves, a vibrating seat, lights, smart helmet cameras and radar as well as a pannier full of the electronics to analyse the data gathered by the sensors and provide warnings. One of the systems tries to determine if riders are travelling too fast for bends ahead. GPS software that acts as a "co-pilot" and tries to determine what speed the rider should be travelling at to make it round curves or corners ahead. Another system uses radar to constantly monitor blind spots around and behind riders to create a safety "bubble" around a bike. Vehicles behind or to one side of a bike can be hard to spot because the helmet restricts visibility and riders must remember to move their head regularly to check. "We put a small motor with an eccentric flywheel in the cheek pad of the helmet so if you don’t notice the object it vibrates and gives a tactile warning that there's something to the right or left," said Moore. Motorcycle collision detection systems warn riders about an imminent impact and lets them take action by slowing sharply or, in the case of a vehicle travelling in the same direction as the bike, following it while slowing. Mira claims the prototypes suggest it is feasible to fit some car-like safety systems to motorcycles. Researchers speculate that manufacturers could start to put them on bikes within the next 18 months to two years. In terms of post-crash rider protection, Honda already has an air-bag available on its luxury tourer, the Gold Wing, and reusable airbag jackets are readily available. The safety systems under review would seek to avoid the crash occurring in the first place. Saferider is a collaborative R&D effort that is part of the European Commission's Seventh Framework Programme. Participants include Mira, Yamaha, Porsche Engineering and Fema, among others. = = = = = = = = = = = = = Frankly, this disturbs me. This is going to dumb motorcyclists down just as it's done to a lot of drivers.