BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide, V2X for Bikers

October 31, 2011

Will bikers accept electronic devices tracking their every move – even for a safer ride? It’s the first time we’ve seen vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) telematics solutions being developed for motocycles. BMW Motorrad is developing ConnectedRide, an intelligent transportation system specially designed to help keep bikers safe. A concept for the system was demonstrated at the annual Motorrad Innovation Day 2011, you can see the BMW Motorrad video at the end of this post.BMW is retrofitting its automotive vehicle-to-X (V2X) intelligent transport system (ITS), ConnectedDrive for motorcycles. The telematics bike system, dubbed ConnectedRide uses V2V and ITS technology to gather information from other cars, roadway telematics infrastructure and sensors on the motorcycle itself to alert bikers to potential hazards. At the same time the system can also alert other drivers that a motorcycle might be in their blind spot.

The Intersection Assistant is an interesting feature that takes a snapshot of an approaching intersection before the bike even arrives. Using an available telematics infrastructure ConnectedRide sees around the corner and checks for moving vehicles. In the event of an oncoming car, Intersection Assistant activates the bike’s Conspicuity Enhancement which triggers flashing lights at oncoming vehicles to maximize the bike’s visibility.

ConnectedRide will also keep bikers informed of weather conditions on the road ahead warning them to take shelter in the event a flash rainstorm is detected. The V2V system will rely on data streams from other vehicles communicating via the Dedicated Short-range Communication (DSRC) ITS Protocol.

We’ll be interested to see if such a system takes off with the mainstream biker community. Anyone will appreciate greater safety while riding, heightened visibility for any bike is sure to be a hit. But it remains to be seen if bikers will adopt fully connected vehicles while riding, this could be a tough sell. Few cultures value privacy and remaining decidedly disconnected from the rest of the world more than bikers while riding.

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