Motorcycle culture is the result of high technology and every year motorcycles and equipment become more innovative. Every year there are developments that make the life of motorcyclists better. Particular attention is now being wondered at electronics and materials that can replace outdated approaches.
What new items are waiting for the motorcycle world and what innovations are already being prepared for publication in the near future?
Smart motorcycle helmets
While motorcycle riders’ attention is focused on the emergence of new e-bikes from popular companies and young start-ups, motorcycle manufacturers have been working on smart helmets for a long time. Could you have thought that augmented reality helmet would become the norm for motorcyclists in just five or ten years? The idea is for the driver not to be distracted from the road by looking at the dashboard, but to see it directly in front of him. So why not bring her or the navigator to the helmet visor? They also display a rear-view camera or an image of blind spots on the visor, but sometimes this can only be distracting. Engineers are grappling with the recipe for the perfect smart helmet.
Now we are focusing on materials that will protect a person’s head from impact and its consequences, but very soon the helmet will have a whole list of necessary functions: a high-speed computing board, GPS chips, built-in Bluetooth, a high-resolution wide-angle camera and more than one, separate audio and the microphone system, system memory and, of course, the battery to fuel all this wealth. Although even this is not enough for manufacturers and they are working on the implementation of voice commands. Already feeling in an Iron Man suit?
Shoei is the first to take the line among professional gear giants and promises to introduce a new IT-HT helmet in 2020. At the same time, at the moment it should only connect to the phone and have the HUD augmented vision function.
It should be noted that professional motorcycle racers offer to wait until startups that have been closely involved with electronics for a long time will join the ranks, perhaps they will offer a more elegant solution than Shoei.
As an example of how this should work, a promo video from such a startup – Argon Transform HUD System, which should be shown in February this year.
The augmented vision system cannot bypass anyone, it is too interesting and useful. At the same time, HUD technologies have been living in aviation and astronautics for decades, it’s time to move to civilian life. And that’s exactly what Bosch has done.
Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive
What if I want to have augmented vision system all the time, and not only when wearing a motorcycle helmet? Or like this: I already have a cool Icon helmet and glasses that I wear because of poor eyesight – I don’t want to give up either one or the other. Bosch Smartglasses Light Drive promises to turn any glasses into an augmented vision system.
What else is missing in all of the above variety of additions to a motorcycle helmet? And there is a lack of a system that would call an ambulance if a motorcyclist has an accident, there is no one nearby and he is not able to call for help on his own.
The concept was named ConTekt, its author is motorcyclist Ty Uehara – a man who had an accident and realized how scary it is if you cannot call for help yourself. The idea is to build a system that helps the helmet determine that the wearer has had an accident. For this, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, GPS, accelerometers and Bluetooth are combined into a single chain. When information from all systems determines the fact of an accident, the helmet will transmit the information to the phone using Bluetooth and call for help.
As someone who builds on the worst outcomes, I only ask two questions:
– And if in an accident I broke the phone to pieces? How will the system call me for help?
– If I had an accident in a place where there is no communication?
While Ty Uehara is developing his plan, there is little information. But it is known that, for example, the Apple Watch Series 4 has a fall detection system and this watch has already called an ambulance for motorcyclists who were unconscious after the accident. The watch detects the force of impact, it can work even if you accidentally hit it hard or fall while playing with children. The system will ask if everything is all right with you, was there a fall, do you need an ambulance? If you do not respond to questions at all, the watch will automatically call for help after 30 seconds, considering that you have lost consciousness.
And what are we all about helmets, but about helmets? Have you heard there are motorcycle airbags? Of course, you know that such equipment is not uncommon for professional motorcycle racers. What about civilian drivers?
Alpinestars Tech-Air® 5 2020 is entering the market this year. it can be worn with any textile jacket of any brand. There is only one most important condition – the jacket must have 4 centimeters of free space around the wearer’s body so that the pillow can unfold without obstacles. In other words, if you have your favorite Icon jacket and anticipate the possibility of a fatal fall, then they can be combined.
Alpinestars claims that this vest is capable of absorbing 95% of the impact force, it takes up to 40 milliseconds to open, and is able to protect the back, chest, abdomen and especially the shoulder and collarbone of the driver. The novelty has an active electronic system with six built-in sensors, including three gyroscopes and three accelerometers, as well as a failure algorithm that uses AI to track when the airbag is deployed. All this is of course great, only the price tag for ordinary motorcyclists bites. Already, the price of the vest is officially hovering around $ 700.
And again, back to digital innovations. This year, in January, Honda showed the Smartphone As Brain smartphone integration system. The fact is that motorcyclists are often distracted in order to use their smartphone. And with the new adaptation system, you can control your smartphone through the handles of the motorcycle, use voice commands, dictate messages. There is even a function for storing holes on the roads, if you stop and enter the data into the system, all users will know about this hole. It is immediately clear that the creators of the application have no idea what the roads look like on the territory of Russia. In addition, a motorcyclist who stops on the road to mark a pit creates a potentially hazardous situation in and of itself.
Damon Motorcycles, CoPilot and Hypersport
And an extreme innovation that I want to talk about. Perhaps she will make a revolution in the future, who knows. The start is very ambitious. I’m talking about the Damon Motorcycles project – an electric bike concept that is able to identify potential hazards around it 360 degrees. According to one of the founders of the company, Jay Giraud, the idea to create a motorcycle with such a system appeared to draw attention to the development of CoPilot itself – this is the name of this 360-degree safety algorithm. This is more relevant for motorcyclists than for other road users, so this is a real opportunity to reduce injuries, to show work in action.
The new bike has already been presented on January 7 this year.
CoPilot is a network of radars, cameras and sensors located on the front and rear of the motorcycle.Thus, the system analyzes everything that happens around the motorcycle, monitors blind spots, determines turns and trajectory, their danger and inclines, monitors weather conditions and road moisture. The creators of the motorcycle assure that the bike will warn if there is a slippery section of the road ahead, and also if the owner stops too close to the car doors and may be hit. Hazard warnings are triggered by instrument panel lights and steering wheel vibration. Damon Motorcycles are confident that vibration attracts more attention and responds faster than lights, especially when the driver is busy on the road and not looking at the dashboard.
In addition to the myriad innovations in one e-bike, there is one more to add. He is able to adapt and “learn”. The bike is connected to a cloud-based data network and all the information analyzed by one bike will be available to all of its fellow bike as an update, so it is not necessary to experience all traffic situations for the electric bike to take them into account on the road, through the update it uses the experience of another motorcyclist.