Radar technology initially developed for use in driverless cars has been adapted for motorcycles.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communications developer Cohda Wireless from South Australia has partnered with Bosch, Ducati and Autotalks on a “digital protective shield” that warns riders of nearby traffic before they see oncoming cars.
Bosch is commercialising the technology in Ducati production bikes but the radar could also be retrofitted to any car or motorcycle.
According to Bosch, motorcyclists are about 18 times more likely to be killed in a collision than car drivers. However, it claims the new radar could prevent nearly one-third of all motorcycle accidents.
Production of the technology is being driven by a proposed mandate from the United States Department of Transportation that would require all new vehicles to have vehicle-to-vehicle radars installed.
Cohda Wireless Managing Director Paul Gray said the radar was the next step in safety from seatbelts and air bags.
“Technologists have gone as far as they can in terms of minimizing harm during an accident and now it is about avoiding the accidents before they even happen,” he said.
“If a motorcyclist is riding down the street, it will be alerted when a car turning onto the same road creates an opportunity for an accident. This can also happen when the car moving onto the road is not visible to the rider.
“The radar will also alert drivers who are changing lanes if someone is in their blind spot, which is quite an issue for motorcyclists.”
Gray said the technology would eventually be in every autonomous car as well.
Cohda commands about 60 per cent of the vehicle-to-vehicle communication market.
The system uses the public WLAN standard (ITS G5) as the basis for the exchange of data between motorcycles and cars.