By joining the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC) we would like to emphasize the importance of bikers’ safety and acknowledge the careful attention bikers need in the C-ITS world.
From a safety point of view, motorcycles are special players in the traffic. The bike itself is a motorized vehicle, just like cars. At the same time the rider is as vulnerable as a pedestrian or a pedaling cyclist. That alone would be enough to see how important it is to include motorcycles in the V2X ecosystem.
It becomes even more pressing if we add the visibility issues bikers struggle with, risking their lives on the road. One of my neighbours illustrated this very well recently, when he bought a silent mid size scooter, only to drill the exhaust a week later after getting into a dangerous situation with a careless car driver. It’s a low cost do-it-yourself approach to V2X, a primitive but effective solution to warn others in the traffic.
A majority of motorcycle accidents happen because a car driver doesn’t recognize the rider.
Bikers can disappear in cars’ blind spots, and drivers sometimes fail to recognize a motorcycle even when they are looking at them. It’s not a big surprise that motorcyclists are trying to find a way to communicate with drivers.
The movement and the dynamics of a motorcycle create extra challenges for safety systems. Just think about how bikers lean in a corner, changing the height and width of the whole unit. Motorcycles easily move forward between lanes, from one blind spot to another. Driver-assistance sensors recognize motorcycles in proximity, but not even the most advanced ones can see behind a large truck or a corner. V2X will be able to extend the perceived area with sensor data sharing to help drivers prepare for an unexpected situation.
The motorcycle industry realized that V2X can give bikers digital visibility, significantly reducing the risks, and CMC has already made progress in several motorcycle specific use cases, fine-tuning V2X messages and experimenting with special antennas, with a focus on safety solutions. We are happy to join CMC and support these efforts to connect two-wheelers with the C-ITS ecosystem.