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January 27, 2011

Motorbikes could soon see fitted safety devices

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by Tom Coyne

Motorbikes could soon be fitted with collision detection devices and other safety features usually found on cars.

The new safety systems being tested for motorbikes include speed limit warnings, information about neighbouring vehicles and changing lanes, and information of the tightness of road bends and the speed in which to turn them.

Mira (The Motor Industry Research Association), have been carrying out tests on the Safe rider systems on road bikes and simulators.

Mira acts as a testing and innovation centre for auto-manufacturers. An ITS consultant at Mira, Jonathan Moore, stated the following regarding the project.

“Safe rider takes the driver safety systems that are becoming standard on cars and tries to adapt them to the unique needs of motorcyclists.”

He then went on to explain about the more challenging aspects of designing the Safe rider system, such as keeping the riders attention on the road, but still being able to concentrate on the safety system.

“One of the most difficult things is getting the rider’s attention. There’s a high level of ambient noise and vibration to deal with and we really don’t want motorcycle riders looking down at the handlebars any more than they need to”

The number of motorcycle accident fatalities has been on the rise for a while now, with 22 per cent of road accidents involving bikers, giving reason to the urge to have these safety devices in by late 2012.

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