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BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha join forces to increase motorcycle safety

To the power of three: BMW, Honda and Yamaha have teamed up to increase safety on two-wheelers
To the power of three: BMW, Honda and Yamaha have teamed up to increase safety on two-wheelers
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Wednesday, 07, Oct 2015 10:20

by Joe Jeffrey

BMW, Honda and Yamaha join forces to enhance safety on two-wheelers

BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha have teamed up. No, hell hasn't frozen over - it's all an elaborate plot to enhance Cooperative-Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) applications in powered motorcycles, which will see the three companies work together to establish a consortium named the Connected Motorcycle Consortium.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding released, which was signed by all European association of motorcycle manufacturers (ACEM) manufacturing members in 2014, C-ITS features will be introduced from 2020 onwards.

In order to accelerate this process, the three manufacturers will begin their cooperation in the field of C-ITS now.

The new cooperation was announced yesterday (6 October) at the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux, France, the world's largest event for intelligent transport systems and services. The three partners also encouraged other motorcycle manufacturers to join the consortium so as to further increase safety in powered two-wheelers.

"In order to speed up more motorcycle-specific safety developments, we intend to cooperate to promote a successful implementation of C-ITS in motorcycles and scooters," operating officer at Honda, Tetsuo Suzuki, said.

Chief general manager of technology center and executive vice president and representative director of Yamaha, Takaaki Kimura, agreed with Suzuki's sentiments, adding: "Our companies are already active members of the Car2Car Communication Consortium, in which we work with car and truck makers and other stakeholders on common specifications and standards. We came to realise that the specific requirements of motorcycles are beyond the scope of this consortium, however. The next logical step is to enter into a cooperation dedicated solely to the challenges relating to powered two-wheelers."

Speaking on behalf of BMW, Karl Viktor Schaller, executive vice president of development, said: "Our aim is to promote a timely and comprehensive use of cooperative ITS systems in powered-two wheelers offering the potential to improve safety. We therefore encourage other companies to join us."

If well considered and properly deployed, ITS technologies offer the potential to further increase safety, security and efficiency in all transport systems, in particular for motorcycles.

ITS requires the integration of information and communications technology including transport infrastructure, vehicles and users. Basic applications currently exist in GPS navigation systems, where real-time traffic information is provided such as rerouting advice based on traffic jams ahead. For road transport in particular, interoperable networked wireless communication between vehicles can enable road users to make coordinated and informed decisions about their route as well as allowing safer manoeuvring in busy urban environments.

ITS technologies are expected to generate particular safety benefits in regard to powered two-wheelers, not least by offering a level of electronic communication which can be shared between riders and drivers of other road vehicles.

The three companies have already gained experience of connected vehicle technology in several European field tests. Together with car makers and major suppliers, BMW Motorrad has already participated in large scale field tests carried out on connected vehicles in the greater Frankfurt area in Germany. Honda and Yamaha have also participated in European-wide ITS field test projects respectively.

In view of the challenges experienced in these real world tests, the combination of these three manufacturers should ensure a fruitful

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