Honda, Yamaha and BMW working together on rider safety technology

Three manufacturers announce collaboration on joint technology venture

HONDA, Yamaha and BMW yesterday announced they’re working on technology to warn motorcyclists of hazards on the road.

The three manufacturers are collaborating to evaluate and develop systems that will allow bikes to communicate with other vehicles so riders have advanced warning of changing road conditions, accidents, and traffic behaviour.

The technology is called Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) and Honda, Yamaha and BMW's collective endeavour is taking place under the name 'Connected Motorcycle Consortium'. They want other manufacturers to join them in developing the technology for motorcycles.

Co-operative Intelligent Transport Systems is an umbrella term for technology that allows vehicles to communicate with each other and give road users early warning of hazards or conditions. Examples include vehicle-to-vehicle warning systems that can alert drivers of an impending collision. It raises the possibility of a system for warning drivers before they pull out on a motorcyclist at a junction.  

Examples of ‘Intelligent Transport Systems’ include ‘Intelligent Speed Adaptation’. ISA refers to speed limiters that use GPS technology to restrict vehicles to the prevailing limit, including automatically slowing them down if necessary. In 2006 the Department for Transport developed an ISA-equipped Suzuki Bandit 650 but the project was shelved.

It’s not clear exactly how C-ITS will be applied to motorcycles but a press release on the joint venture said it would differ to systems in cars. It said: ‘ITS systems designed for cars cannot simply be transferred to motorcycles. Due to the limited space available, electronic systems have to be smaller and be resilient to water, dust and vibration.

‘Since motorcycles exhibit different driving dynamics, software development and algorithms need to consider special requirements.’

  • Sign up for Visordown's weekly newsletter, Bugsplat, to get the best motorcycle news, road tests and features plus exclusive competitions and offers direct to your inbox. Register as a Visordown member here and tick the box for Bugsplat in your newsletter settings here.