Autonomous driving technology largely or we’d say has been only limited to cars, until now. BMW and Honda have already been featuring connectivity technologies in their cars and now plan to shift the technology onto their motorcycles.
Both these automobile giants are working with the University of Michigan and Australian startup venture Codha Wireless to implement autonomous driving technologies into their motorcycles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, USA states that though only 5 percent of driving fatalities involved a motorcycle, the injury percentage stands at a high 80 percent of all motorcycle accidents.
Known as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), the technology was earlier confined to equip self-driving cars of the future, but would be transferred to motorcycles. A total of 3000 connected vehicles are under trial by the University of Michigan Transportation Institute (UMTRI) in the city of Ann Arbor with BMW and Honda motorcycles now adding to the tally.
Like cars, the technology on motorcycles would allow bikes to ‘talk; to traffic lights, roadside signs and cars. A long-range secure form of Wi-Fi would enable the motorcycle to communicate with a car much before the drivers see each other while approaching a blind intersection. A set of green and red lights on the dash mounted instrument panel would report and warn riders while approaching intersections and blind corners. The technology would also benefit electric motorcycles notifying the riders of the nearest power stations and choose the most energy efficient routes to their destinations based on traffic conditions. (Brilliant!)
The technology has struck favours with and attracted strategic investments from giants like Cisco Systems and NXP Semiconductors. In fact Cisco is already using Codha software at its roadside V2I gateways, while NXP and Codha are into collaboration for having jointly developed radio chips installed in cars running connectivity technologies.
In a situation where motorcycle fatalities have been rising year by year, if this technology could manage to even bring down the numbers even my a marginal percentage- it would mean saving thousands of invaluable lives if the numbers are considered on a global scale. Great initiative that!