Lamborghini and Ducati unveil bike-to-car communication tech to prevent road crashes
Italian car and bike manufacturers unveil prototype vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology that leverages connected mobility to improve motorcyclist safety and alerts motorists of impending danger.
Italian sports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini and Italian sports bike manufacturer Ducati have unveiled a prototype motorcycle-to-car communication system that warns motorists of danger.
The Bologna-based Ducati was one of the leading players at the Demo Event organized at the Lausitzring race track (Germany) by the Connected Motorcycle Consortium to demonstrate the effectiveness of motorbike-car connectivity systems developed over the course of this cycle of the consortium’s research.
The Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC) is an international association of leading manufacturers of two-wheeled vehicles that aims to include motorbikes in the future of connected mobility to improve the safety of motorcyclists.
Car makers have been researching and developing Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication technologies for years, and CMC has been working on also adding information sent by motorbikes (which have different needs and dynamics) so that this can be standardised in the future when the technology is integrated into the entire motorbike and car fleet in circulation.
CMC was founded in 2016, the same year Ducati joined, with its members initially involved in an accurate analysis of the most dangerous accidents between motorbikes and cars in terms of frequency and the seriousness of the harm suffered by motorcyclists. With this investigation as a starting point, the cases where connectivity could help the most were selected, and development of those methodologies capable of reducing the number of impacts and their risk to the health of motorcyclists was initiated. A crucial aspect of this research was to reduce the system reaction times as much as possible, because limiting the risk of an accident depends on how far in advance one of the two parties involved is warned.
Three most critical and dangerous situations researched
To demonstrate the effectiveness of the systems being researched and developed, Lamborghini helped Ducati in the trial stage of the project by providing a Urus for use case simulations. Ducati decided to look at the three most critical and dangerous accident cases – those that place motorbikes in an obscured position in relation to oncoming cars or those that put motorcyclists in a situation where they don’t have visibility of what is happening in front of them. In these situations, communication between vehicles integrated with on-board sensors could help reduce the number of accidents.
The technology was developed by Ducati in collaboration with a number of suppliers, including Bertrandt for the hardware and Nfiniity for the operating system and development of algorithms. In this development phase, the prototype has an additional screen on the motorbike showing warning signals that can let the motorcyclist know about any danger.
The cases analysed and demonstrated at the Lausitzring by Ducati and Lamborghini were IMA (Intersection Movement Assist), LTA (Left Turn Assist) and DNPW (Do Not Pass Warning).
The case of IMA (Intersection Movement Assist) considers an intersection with reduced visibility where a motorbike on a busy road approaches an intersection where a car is arriving at the same time from a secondary road.
To make this situation even more critical, Ducati opted to add a fixed obstacle to totally obscure the view of the motorbike from both the car driver and the car’s auxiliary systems. In this case, a warning signal is displayed on the car dashboard alerting the motorist to the arrival of the motorbike, advising the driver to approach the intersection with extreme caution.
LTA (Left Turn Assist), on the other hand, relates to an intersection where both the car and motorbike are traveling on the main road but in opposite directions, and the car wants to turn left. In this case, the motorbike is less visible than the car, even through the auxiliary systems, with the risk of not being well evaluated by the oncoming motorist. Again in this case, as soon as the motorist turns on the blinkers when approaching the intersection, a warning signal for the motorbike will be displayed.
DNPW (Do Not Pass Warning), meanwhile, is the case where a motorbike in a line of traffic wants to overtake a large vehicle in front of it and which in turn has a car ahead of it that wants to make a left turn but is not visible to the motorcyclist. In this case, it is the motorcyclist that sees the warning as soon as the system detects that both the car and the motorbike have turned on their blinkers.
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