Motorbikes 'to get car-like safe driving aids'

Written by: Ani
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London, Jan 26 (ANI): Riding a bike is likely to become safer, as scientists are considering installing features like collision detection in the two-wheelers more usually found on cars.

They are testing ways to put these systems on motorbikes and how best to alert riders to dangers on the road.

The systems tested include warnings about speed limits, the tightness of road bends and information about other vehicles to aid lane changing.

The first bike-based safety systems could be appearing on motorbikes within two years, said researchers.

Proof of concept tests on the Saferider systems, as they are known, have been carried out in simulators and on road bikes by Mira (formerly known as the Motor Industry Research Association), which acts as a testing and innovation centre for carmakers.

"Saferider takes the driver safety systems that are becoming standard on cars and tries to adapt them to the unique needs of motorcyclists," the BBC quoted Jonathan Moore, an ITS consultant at Mira, involved in the Saferider project, as saying.

Moore said making safety systems on motorbikes useful was "challenging" because of all the distractions to which riders were subjected.

"One of the most difficult things is getting the rider's attention. There's a high level of ambient noise and vibration to deal with and we really don't want motorcycle riders looking down at the handlebars any more than they need to," he said.

The Saferider system allows motorcyclists to send SOS alerts and warns of potential hazards. Video provided by engineering consultancy Mira on behalf of Saferider.

The systems include laser scanners, haptic handles and gloves, a vibrating seat, lights, smart helmet-cameras and radar as well as a pannier full of the electronics that analyse data gathered by the sensors and pump out warnings.

One system tested works out if riders are travelling too fast to negotiate upcoming bends. Mira has developed software that acts as a "co-pilot" which, with the help of a digital map, knows what speed they should be travelling to make it round a bend.

"One system under test based around radar constantly monitors the blind spots around and behind riders. 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," added Moore. (ANI)

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