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Gallery: Honda kick starts motorcycle safety tech

Honda demonstrates motorcycle safety technology for the first time at an automotive technology event in Germany earlier this month.
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By Andy Smith on
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1 of 9 Andy Smith/ZDNet
Honda has demonstrated motorcycle safety technology for the first time at an automotive technology event in Germany earlier this month.

Silicon.com's Julian Goldsmith reports Honda's motorcycle technology is in line with UK government initiatives launched in July to encourage manufacturers to consider motorcycle safety and put together an assessment program.

According to the government, motorcycles account for one per cent of road traffic, but account for 20 per cent of those killed on the road.

Photo credit: Honda

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Honda cites an EU funded research project called the Motorcycle In-Depth Study published in 1999, which found of the 88 percent of motorcycle accidents caused by human error, 38 percent were due to the motorcyclist and 50 percent were the fault of the other driver.

Of the latter, the majority of accidents occurred because of perception failures (failing to see the motorcycle) or comprehension failures (not recognising the approaching object as a motorcycle) or decision failures (failing to assess the speed of the oncoming motorcycle and pulling out).

A significant proportion of motorcycle accidents involve an oncoming vehicle either pulling out of a minor road on a junction into the path of the motorcycle, or crossing into the path of an oncoming motorcycle to turn right from a major road into a minor road.

Photo credit: Honda

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Honda's main safety feature generates warnings to both vehicles as they are approaching each other by delivering continuous positioning data over the GPS network.

Honda says the Vehicle2Vehicle (V2V) system will work with its vehicles and those of eight other manufacturers and it is participating in projects in Europe, Japan and the US.

Photo credit: Honda

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Here a prototype is fitted with an indicator display just above the dashboard and below the windscreen. It is intended to be within the rider's eye-line but without distracting their attention from the road.

Photo credit: Honda

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The warning indicator display varies in intensity, colour and position of the lights to inform the rider of the seriousness and direction of the hazard ahead.

Photo credit: Honda

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A further enhancement of the system is a spoken warning relayed to the rider's helmet via Bluetooth connection.

Photo credit: Honda

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Other safety initiatives include this riding simulator that can be used for training learner motorcyclists before they get out on the road.

Photo credit: Honda

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The trainer puts the student through a number of safety exercises (this application is designed for road users who drive on the right).

Photo credit: Honda

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Another safety feature going into the manufacturer's production of Super Sports bikes for the first time this year is electronically controlled Combined ABS, to provide enhanced braking capability in a wide range of road conditions.

Photo credit: Honda

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