Honda Just Filed A Patent For Blind Spot Monitoring On Motorcycles

Photo: Honda Powersports
Photo: Honda Powersports

The modern car is littered with dozens of safety systems and sensors designed to provide the driver with all sorts of enhanced information like lane-keeping, drowsiness detection, and blind spot monitoring. But motorcycles haven’t been so quick to receive this upgraded safety tech, until now.

Honda’s filed patent for a blind spot monitoring system has been published, revealing a combination of camera and radars systems covering a modeled Honda VRF1200F designed to provide feedback and warnings to the rider of objects and obstructions around the motorcycle. It’s very likely that this sort of technology will appear on more models than just the VRF1200F, and in all likelihood other brands.

Illustration for article titled Honda Just Filed A Patent For Blind Spot Monitoring On Motorcycles
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They system of monitoring sensors creates a 360 field around the motorcycle that constantly scans to detect vehicles, pedestrians, and any objects. The driver receives both visual and physical haptic feedback if the bike senses an imminent collision when the turn signal is activated or if the the system senses the bike turning in a dangerous direction.

Illustration for article titled Honda Just Filed A Patent For Blind Spot Monitoring On Motorcycles

The visual feedback will be through an indicator either integrated in front of the driver along with the other instrument panels, or could also be a separate attachment that is mounted on the upper triple clamp for upgrading existing motorcycles.

The haptic feedback with be provided through vibrating motors located around the bike in the seat, grips, fuel-tank knee rests, and foot-pegs.

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While I think that the lane changes and other movements of a rider on a motorcycle tend to be quicker than that of a driver in a car, there is a lot of potential for this sort of new technology to provide riders with enhanced situational awareness and should go a long way in preventing accidents, particularly at high speeds on busy motorways.

It will be interesting to see what other safety technology finds its way into motorcycle development, perhaps with visual displays in helmets and maybe even automatic braking.

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But for now, Honda will make feel the vibrations.

H/T to Motorcycle.com

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik

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DISCUSSION

Insert obligatory “I don’t need no fancy tech on my bike. I want purely mechanical lightweight blah blah this is why nobody works on their own bikes anymore blah blah people should learn to ride without aids blah blah.”

Normally I’m the guy who is all for new safety tech. I saved longer before buying my first bike because I wanted ABS. I’m ATGATT and love my Hi-Viz and can’t wait for the Dainese airbags. However, this does actually seem a bit too far to me. Visibility on motorcycles is so good that I can’t imagine a need for a device that can warn me of things in my blind spot when I can so easily see for myself. In a modern car with windows that are geting smaller every year due to crash safety standards, sure. I drive an ‘09 VW Rabbit and even on that it’s sometimes a little tough to see my blind spots. But on a bike I just don’t see the benefit. Also as an aside, motorcycles vibrate a fair bit. The motors and vibration wheels are going to have to be pretty beefy to be noticeable. If I have to add 10-20lbs to my bike for added safety, I’d rather it be an airbag system or traction control or a cell phone jammer.