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BMW Advanced Safety Concept Motorcycle Hot

BMW Motorrad Advanced Safety Concept front sensorBMW Motorrad has lately been at the vanguard of new motorcycle technology; their new models are bristling with high-tech features. That's all well and good, but to what end? The Advanced Safety Concept (ASC) motorcycle is the answer from the ever-inventive minds of BMW Motorrad.

A Safer Motorcycle

People familiar with the way BMW Motorrad thinks and operates will know the German company is somewhat passionate about what they do – in a uniquely engineering-based and Teutonic way. The company doggedly works towards perfecting the bikes they make and has no limitations on the technology they will use to achieve this goal. After all, BMW Motorrad led the way in the use of ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes) as a way to make riding a motorcycle safer long ago.

The ASC motorcycle from BMW is not meant to transform riding a motorcycle into the equivalent of driving in a car; nothing of the sort. The ASC will be just as fun and challenging – in the sense that you become a better rider – as the K 1600 GT on which it is based. It could be viewed as the BMW S 1000 RR with the added capability of going for long distances without much thought as to where you will need to stop. The ASC only wishes to demonstrate the potential to make a motorcycle safer to ride and what BMW Motorrad is doing to advance this within the industry.

BMW Techno-Moto

BMW Motorrad has launched numerous new innovative technologies throughout their model range all intending to make for a safer motorcycle. The GS series not only has ABS – which was updated to ABS II not too long ago – but also uses an ABS-integrated Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and a very advanced Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) allowing for adjustment to both fore and aft shock settings. These three work in concert to improve the motorcycle's safety and allow for better, and more accurate, rider control.

A full list of the numerous BMW motorcycle safety features would be an encyclopedia entry all on its own – the new S 1000 R and K 1600 GT series are both covered with the latest and greatest versions of those BMW ride technologies. The ASC may lead to a need for an enormous update to any document covering BMW motorcycles considering the large number of new innovations BMW has included with this concept for a safer motorcycle...

BMW ASC Features

BMW Motorrad Advanced Safety Concept up closeMake no mistake about the intention of the AMW ASC motorcycle – every feature included on this design is put there in the quest for a safer motorcycle. The incredible technology displayed here may find its way to a new BMW sometime soon, or it may never be integrated; what works will be kept and what doesn't show any measurable improvement will be taken back to the drawing board and re-worked.

As the BMW ASC is based around the new K 1600 GT line, many of the new ideas are intended for the touring rider. Many, though, could be useful for any rider in one form or another. Some of the highlights include:

  • Daytime Riding Light Rings – Essentially much like the so-called 'fairy lights' which car companies like Audi use on their headlights. The idea is to help make the motorcycle more conspicuous when on the road in any weather conditions. Whether it will actually work will require some intensive testing and study, but anything that makes rider and motorcycle more visible, and doesn't add anything to the bike's price or weight, is most welcome.

  • BMW Motorrad eCall – This is an automatic collision notification system integrated into the motorcycle itself. The BMW system is set to phone up a BMW call center should the motorcycle register a crash or if the rider manually triggers a call. It will be configured so that it will provide details from the bike's ECU from the time prior to the accident and the GPS coordinates detailing its exact location.

    If you should be carving your local canyon backroad, swerve to avoid a road hazard, and then run off the road into the thick underbrush – where no one on the road could or would see where you are since there is no evidence you were ever there – the BMW Motorrad eCall will phone up BMW and let them know something not-so-good has happened. The BMW phone center will immediately try to call your phone for a check on your status; should no one answer, BMW will dispatch emergency services to your location immediately – time is an important factor, mere minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

    This is a great idea which has been done in the automotive industry (OnStar, for example) and in some parts of the motorcycle aftermarket, but this would be the first for a production motorcycle from a major manufacturer. Of course, there are always privacy concerns, but it is not different from the same issues we have about mobile phones, notebook computers and even the highly computerized modern cars which store an entire lifetime's worth of information about where the car has been, how fast it has gone and how it was maintained. That will need to be addressed before the BMW Motorrad eCall makes prime time.

  • Camera-based Rider Information and Assistance System – An integrated digital camera will scan the roadway ahead of the motorcycle constantly seeking information to present to the rider. An interesting feature of the system allows it to actually pick out a speed limit sign, recognize it, display it on the dash and then let you know if you are exceeding the legal limit – should you program it to do so. The advanced visual recognition system should also be able to alert the rider to road hazards and can even be configured to prepare the brakes for use.

    Much like automotive collision avoidance, the BMW Rider Information and Assistance System idea is to protect you and your bike from harm, but its level of intervention could be concerning; who wants a bike which automatically applies the brakes? That can be dangerous on two wheels.

  • BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide with Intelligent Assistance Systems – BMW is really pushing the boundaries with this feature set; it is an advanced and integrated computerized system which is designed for communicating with a network of connected vehicles and other devices (such as signs, other vehicles, and fire stations) to keep the motorcycle and rider informed of where other vehicles are and what they are doing.

    This is to be connected with an entire external ecosystem of networked 'nodes' – including cars, trucks, traffic lights, etc. – which communicate with one another in an attempt to eliminate crashes altogether. Motorcycles are often left out of such plans, but BMW Motorrad is determined to include powered two-wheelers in all aspects of transport in the future. Conceptualizing this is important, but do not expect any parts of this complex assemblage to be sitting in your or your neighbor's garage anytime soon.

    The BMW ConnectedRide system includes:

    • Cross Traffic Assistant – This will keep track of any networked traffic approaching you from the sides; if something looks like it will impact you, it will send a message to the oncoming vehicle, flash some LED lighting strips to make the bike more obvious, and alert the rider.

    • Traffic Light Phase Assistant – Communication between traffic lights and the bike alert the rider of upcoming red lights so that the rider does not waste fuel accelerating when the bike will soon need to stop; also informs the rider of the perfect speed on the road so s/he encounters only green lights.

    • Bad Weather Warning – Your bike communicates with a system of nodes (other vehicles) so that all vehicles are aware of the weather; it tracks temperature, traction control, fog lamp activation and other inputs to determine the conditions.

    • Obstacle Warning System – This one is obvious, but it also lets all nodes know about the obstacles each of them encounters.

    • Emergency Vehicle Warning System – The bike is simply connected to emergency vehicles to warn you when they are approaching your section of roadway.

    • Electronic Brake Light – Something of a rear-end collision elimination device, the bike is connected with the other nodes and informs all behind of heavy braking events – it works by alerting the bike in case someone hits the brakes hard a couple of vehicles in front of it even before the rider sees the brake lights.

    • Left Turn Assistant – A fantastic part of this system which warns both driver and rider if a connected car is about to make a left turn in front of the motorcycle and flashes the bike's lights for added visibility.

    • Overtaking Assistant – This senses when the bike is passing another connected vehicle and flashes additional lighting to ensure that no other vehicle attempts to overtake in an unsafe manner for the rider.


BMW Advanced Safety Concept

BMW Motorrad Advanced Safety Concept front cameraWhat you see here is truly a great deal to digest, but BMW Motorrad has for a long time been on a quest to improve the safety of their motorcycles. It is part of a larger effort in pursuit of motorcycling perfection, at least for the purpose of the bike if not for the entire industry. BMW is far more ambitious now than they have ever been and the Advanced Safety Concept is only a small part in the overall plan. It is an intriguing part, nonetheless.

A safer motorcycle is possible, but any bike is only as good as the rider piloting it; after all, computers and electronic sensors can only do so much, the rider must still work the controls and apply them correctly or else the technology is useless. BMW Motorrad wants to do all it can to keep their customers safe and sound on the roads, tracks and landmasses of the world. With the BMW Motorrad Advanced Safety Concept motorcycle, they are opening up a window into what may be available next for all of us to use. Rest assured, though, it will not be boring, just safer.

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