BMW ConnectedRide - Advanced Safety
For generations of motorcyclists, BMW Motorrad has
been regarded as a leader in terms of motorcycling
safety. With its innovative strength, BMW Motorrad
established its profile as a trendsetter early on
in this field and today the huge safety benefits it
offers are a persuasive selling point for virtually
all motorcyclists. BMW Motorrad research continues
to work on increasing these safety benefits, thus
making motorcycling even more attractive.
BMW Motorrad – a pioneer
in the field of safety for decades.
BMW Motorrad was one of the first two-wheel
vehicle manufacturers to commit proactively to motorcycle
safety back in the 1970s. This dedication to increased
safety began in 1976 with the motorcycle helmet developed
by BMW Motorrad. Other highlights followed in 1986
with an in-house range of rider equipment and in 1988
with the world's first ever motorcycle ABS.
Since 2005 a number of other elements
have supplemented active safety in BMW motorcycles:
tyre pressure control, the traction control system
ASC and a xenon low-beam headlight. In the area of
rider equipment, the NP protectors developed by BMW
Motorrad for motorcycle suits contribute to passive
safety, as does the new generation of helmets and
the Neck Brace System introduced in 2007.
Today, ABS is either a standard feature
or an ex-works option throughout the entire BMW Motorrad
range. In the case of the BMW S 1000 RR the system
was refined in 2009 to create the Race ABS so as to
meet the needs of supersports riders, thereby achieving
a new climax in terms of technological advancement.
At the same time, BMW Motorrad presented
the Dynamic Traction Control System (DTC), an extension
of the BMW Motorrad Automatic Stability Control (ASC).
For the first time ever in serial motorcycle construction,
DTC incorporates the banking angle of the motorcycle
as an additional parameter.
This allows the traction control system
to stabilise the motorcycle with even greater sensitivity,
especially when taking bends. BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide.
BMW K 1600 GT/GTL – extensive
safety features now as standard.
Today the two BMW luxury touring bikes
K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL are fitted with numerous
safety features, either as standard or as optional
extras ex works.
For example, the brake system meets
the highest possible standards in terms of deceleration,
controllability, stability and control response in
conjunction with ABS. The three modes "Rain",
"Road" and "Dynamic" allow the
rider to select three completely different engine
characteristics in terms of throttle response and
torque availability. In conjunction with DTC (Dynamic
Traction Control) this results in significantly improved
traction based on controlled engine power and traction
control, especially on wet or slippery road surfaces.
With regard to chassis technology,
the electronically adjustable chassis ESA II optimises
the adjustment of suspension and damping to load and
road surface conditions. The neutralisation of load
states in particular makes for a further increase
in ride and braking stability.
In addition to ABS, DTC and engine
characteristics which the rider can select, the K
1600 GT/GTL are the first serial production motorcycles
in the world to offer an adaptive headlight (option
ex works). Here, detection of the banking angle and
pitch movements of the vehicle achieves much improved
illumination of the road on bends, resulting in a
huge increase in active riding safety. The K 1600
GT/GTL are also the first motorcycles to feature the
so-called parking light rings which are characteristic
of BMW automobiles.
BMW Motorrad Advanced Safety Concept – Daytime
Riding Light as a safety innovation in motorcycles.
Seeing and being seen is especially
important on a motorcycle. For this reason, the LED
parking light technology of the two lighting rings
which was standard in the BMW K 1600 GT was further
refined for the Advanced Safety Concept constructed
on the basis of the BMW K 1600 GT to demonstrate the
technological possibilities of Daytime Riding Light,
approved for use in motorcycles since 2010.
Here the light intensity injected in
the lighting rings was significantly enhanced so to
ensure that the motorcycle can be detected early on
and more clearly by oncoming traffic – a technological
innovation which might
quickly find its way into serial production.
BMW Motorrad eCall with automatic
collision notification ACN as a life-saving system.
If a serious accident occurs, seconds
can be crucial. Very often valuable time is lost because
the rescue coordination centre is informed too late
or too ambiguously about the location and severity
of the accident. This is where the BMW Motorrad eCall
/ ACN (Emergency Call / Automatic Collision Notification)
provides a valuable service.This system is already
available as a standard feature in BMW automobiles
and a solution specific to motorcycles is currently
being worked on. This could even be incorporated in
serial motorcycle production in the medium term.
If the rider arrives at an accident
site on a bike fitted with BMW Motorrad eCall, he
can use the eCall button to trigger a manual emergency
call. The accident details and exact location with
GPS data are then transmitted to a BMW Call Center
which passes on the information as necessary to the
nearest rescue coordination centre.
If the rider of a BMW motorcycle fitted
with eCall is involved in an accident himself, this
is registered by means of the sensor system (ACN)
and an automatic emergency call is triggered. This
automatically establishes a connection with the BMW
Call Center, enabling transmission of the required
data, such as location and more detailed information
on the nature of the accident.
Camera-based BMW Motorrad rider
information and assistance system.
As part of another research project,
work is currently being done on a motorcycle-specific
adaptation of a camera-based rider information and
assistance system which could be ready for serial
production in the near
future. This system can actively contribute to preventing
dangerous situations from arising in the first place.
The Advanced Safety Concept based on
the BMW K 1600 GT is fitted with a camera-based rider
information system to monitor the environment.
The system provides feedback on speed
limits (Speed Limit Info) by means of road sign detection
and graphic display on the instrument panel. The camera
is also capable of detecting objects, thereby enabling
automatic detection of obstacles on the road, for
example. A warning is given if there is a risk of
collision. For the first time in a motorcycle, the
system actively detects danger and is capable of triggering
secondary measures. These include generating a visual
signal which draws the motorcyclist's attention to
the object detected, for example, and also preparing
the brake system for imminent intervention
At the same time, the motorcycle enhances
its visibility so as to provide a warning. If there
is a risk of collision, the headlight beam is modulated,
the intensity of the headlight is enhanced and the
LEDs integrated in the mirrors and turn indicators
are activated so as to widen the motorcycle's silhouette.
BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide with intelligent
assistance systems. Research areas in the field of
vehicle-to-vehicle communication show that a long-term
approach is also being adapted to motorcycle safety.
ConnectedRide – a research project
being run by BMW Motorrad and BMW Group Research and
Technology – indicates developments which could
advance safety much further. Assistance systems based
on vehicle-tovehicle communication make motorcycling
much safer still: these are to be installed in serial
production motorcycles by BMW Motorrad in the future.
In connection with this research work, BMW Motorrad
is the only motorcycle manufacturer involved in a
large-scale field test with five vehicles.
BMW Motorrad already presented six
elements of the ConnectedRide program in June 2009
at the International Technical Conference on the Enhanced
Safety of Vehicles" or ESV in Stuttgart. In addition
to the cross traffic and traffic light phase assistant,
BMW developers designed three warning systems especially
for motorcyclists: for bad weather conditions, obstacles
and approaching emergency vehicles.
The fourth system to be presented by
BMW Motorrad was the draft for an electronic brake
light which responds to sudden brake manoeuvres in
dense traffic lines, automatically relaying the information
to the rear in a fraction of a second.
An additional assistance system was
presented in May 2011, the left turn assistant, along
with the most recent stage of development in this
area: the overtaking assistant.
The cross traffic assistant analyses
road users approaching a junction, the priority situation
and the probability of a collision as well as assessing
the response of car drivers required to wait. A display
in the cockpit indicates the traffic regulations to
the car driver – for example in the case of
a potential failure to give way. If the driver does
not respond appropriately, he is warned of the risk
of collision in stages – in visual, tactile
and acoustic form. On the motorcycle, the road light
is gradually modulated, light intensity is increased
and additional LED strobes at the side of the motorcycle
are activated so as to widen the silhouette and thereby
increase notice ability in the case of an increasing
risk of collision. If a collision is imminent the
motorcycle horn is sounded automatically.
The traffic light phase assistant allows
the traffic light system to communicate with the motorcycle.
If the traffic lights are set to red when the motorcycle
arrives at the intersection at an unchanged speed,
the rider would
receive this information early enough via the instrument
panel to be able to brake gently. The assistant is
also able to display a speed at which he could reach
the traffic lights during the green cycle.
The bad weather warning gives the motorcyclists
a visual indication in the instrument panel –
optionally also a voice message in the BMW Motorrad
Communication System – to provide early warning
of a route section with weather conditions such as
fog, rain, snow or black ice. The assistant also gives
details of approximately when the rider can be expected
to encounter these conditions. As the trigger algorithm,
researchers have in mind a certain number of vehicles
switching on their fog lamps for example. This information,
combined with the exterior temperature of the vehicles
in question, can be used to infer snow or hail. Other
sources of data include rain sensors, regulatory systems
such as DSC and rear fog lamps switched on.
The obstacle warning also indicates
to the motorcyclist by means of a visual signal in
the instrument panel – also with optional voice
message – that an obstacle is to be expected
on the road. This might be oil or chippings on the
road, or a broken-down vehicle at the roadside. The
warning also includes details of approximately how
far away the obstacle is. The warning and location
of the danger could be transmitted by the vehicle
or vehicles ahead to the vehicles behind.
The emergency vehicle warning system
provides a visual display in the instrument panel
which gives the rider early indication of an approaching
emergency vehicle. A clear symbol and a voice message
warn the rider, also providing details of the distance.
The idea behind the electronic brake
light is the fact that the brake lights of a vehicle
subjected to sudden heavy braking may possibly be
hidden by the vehicles behind it. These results in
a delayed reaction which can cause rear-end collisions.
In order to inform traffic to the rear as early as
possible that a brake manoeuvre has been carried out,
this information is communicated to other road users
by means of vehicle-to-vehicle communication as part
of the electronic brake light system. The latter receive
this information via the instrument panel and communication
An additional left turn assistant takes
into account the particular risk potential of this
traffic situation to the motorcyclist. Additional
LEDs in the rear mirror casings and automatic high
beam activation make the motorcycles more visible
to traffic turning off to the left. Calculation of
the collision risk is based on data transmitted by
vehicle-to-vehicle communication. If there is an acute
risk of collision, simultaneous and automatic brake
intervention in the car prevents it from turning off
to the left.
The overtaking assistant makes an overtaking
motorcycle more easily visible to other road users.
The manoeuvre is detected by the system of sensors
already in serial production in conjunction with Race
ABS and DTC.
If the vehicle ahead moves out to overtake
at the same time as the motorcycle because the driver
has overlooked the motorcyclist or wrongly estimated
his speed, the motorcyclist is in danger. Additional
LEDs in the turn indicator are used to intensify the
signalling effect, making the motorcycle
more visible within the car driver's peripheral field
This significantly increases the probability
of the driver noticing the motorcycle before it disappears
into the blind spot.