In the world of motorcycling, safety has always been a paramount concern. Every rider understands the exhilaration of the open road, but with it comes an inherent risk.
It’s precisely this commitment to safety that has driven Ducati, the iconic Bologna-based motorcycle manufacturer, to take extraordinary strides in ensuring the well-being of motorcyclists worldwide.
Recently, Ducati made waves by participating in the Demo Event at Germany’s Lausitzring, organized by the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC). This event showcased the remarkable advancements in motorbike-car connectivity systems born from the consortium’s intensive research cycle.
The CMC, an international association, unites leading two-wheeled vehicle manufacturers with a singular mission – to integrate motorcycles into the future of connected mobility. The goal is clear: enhance the safety of motorcyclists.
While car manufacturers have been diligently developing Vehicle to Vehicle (V2V) communication technologies for years, the CMC is pioneering efforts to standardize these technologies for motorcycles.
Motorcycles have unique dynamics and requirements, and the CMC is working to ensure that this technology seamlessly integrates into the entire fleet of motorcycles and cars on the road in the future.
Founded in 2016, the CMC welcomed Ducati into its fold, and together, they embarked on an exhaustive analysis of the most dangerous accidents involving motorcycles and cars. The focus was on understanding the frequency and severity of accidents involving motorcyclists.
Based on this research, they identified critical scenarios where connectivity could have the greatest impact and began developing methodologies to reduce accidents and their severity. A crucial aspect of this research was minimizing system reaction time, as the sooner a vehicle can be warned, the greater the reduction in accident risk.
To demonstrate the efficacy of these systems, Ducati partnered with Lamborghini, also part of the Audi Group. Lamborghini provided a Urus vehicle for simulating various scenarios during the project’s experimental phase.
Ducati concentrated its efforts on addressing the three most precarious accident scenarios: Intersection Movement Assist (IMA), Left Turn Assist (LTA), and Do Not Pass Warning (DNPW). These scenarios place motorcycles in situations where they are not visible to oncoming cars or lack visibility of what lies ahead. In both situations, vehicle-to-vehicle communication, coupled with onboard sensors, can significantly reduce accidents.
Intersection Movement Assist (IMA) represents a scenario where a motorcycle approaches a reduced-visibility intersection on a busy road while a car arrives simultaneously from a secondary road. To intensify this situation, Ducati introduced a fixed obstacle, completely obscuring the motorcycle’s view to both the car’s driver and auxiliary systems. In this case, the dashboard of the car displays a warning, alerting the driver to the motorcycle’s presence and advising caution at the intersection.
Left Turn Assist (LTA) comes into play when both the motorcycle and car travel in opposite directions on the main road, and the car intends to make a left turn. Here, motorcycles are less visible than cars, even to advanced auxiliary systems, posing a risk of misjudgment by oncoming drivers. When the car activates its turn indicator approaching the intersection, a traffic warning signal alerts the oncoming motorcyclist.
Do Not Pass Warning (DNPW) addresses situations where a motorcycle in a queue seeks to overtake a large vehicle, which itself intends to turn left, with a car in front of it that’s not visible to the motorcyclist. In this case, the motorcyclist’s system triggers a warning as soon as it detects that both the car and motorcycle have activated their turn signals.
Ducati’s commitment to safety, demonstrated through their active participation in the CMC’s research, showcases their dedication to elevating road safety for motorcyclists globally. As connectivity technology continues to evolve, it’s clear that Ducati is not just redefining the thrill of riding but also making it safer than ever before.