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BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha cooperate to accelerate development of connected vehicle capabilities in motorcycles

BMW Motorrad, Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. are now collaborating to enhance Cooperative-Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) applications in powered two-wheelers (PTWs) and are working together to establish a Connected Motorcycle Consortium.

According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by all ACEM (European association of motorcycle manufacturers) manufacturing members in 2014, C-ITS features will be introduced from 2020 onwards. To accelerate this process, the three manufacturers will begin their cooperation in the field of C-ITS now.

The three companies have already gained experience with connected vehicle technology in several European field tests. Together with car makers and major suppliers, BMW Motorrad participated in simTD, a large scale field test carried out on connected vehicles in the greater Frankfurt area in Germany. Honda and Yamaha participated in DRIVE C2X , a Europe-wide ITS field test project.

In view of the challenges experienced in these real world tests, the three manufacturers are now joining forces to evaluate the principles of cooperative intelligent transportation systems (C-ITS) to enhance motorcycle safety. ITS systems designed for cars cannot simply be transferred to motorcycles. Due to the limited space available, electronic systems have to be smaller and be resilient to water, dust and vibration.

Since motorcycles exhibit different driving dynamics, software development and algorithms need to consider special requirements.

The partners announced their new cooperation 6 October at the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux. The three partners also encouraged other motorcycle manufacturers to join the consortium so as to further increase safety in powered two-wheelers.

If well considered and properly deployed, ITS technologies offer the potential to further increase safety, security and efficiency in all transport systems, in particular for motorcycles. Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) require the integration of information and communications technology including transport infrastructure, vehicles and users.

Basic applications currently exist in GPS navigation systems, where real-time traffic information is provided such as rerouting advice based on traffic jams ahead. For road transport in particular, interoperable networked wireless communication between vehicles can enable road users to make coordinated and informed decisions about their route as well as allowing safer maneuvering in busy urban environments.

ITS technologies are expected to generate particular safety benefits in regard to powered two-wheelers (PTWs), not least by offering a level of electronic communication which can be shared between riders and drivers of other road vehicles.

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