Over the summer CMC performed a comprehensive test of a number of important
C-ITS safety applications for motorcycles at the Aldenhoven Testing Ground near
Aachen/Germany. The purpose of the test was to evaluate possible accident
scenarios between a motorcycle and a car and to check the system settings in
order to best inform the driver and rider how to mitigate dangerous situations.
Motorcycle approaching information is a key safety feature
A typical situation that motorcyclists experience is when a car approaches from a
side road on to the main road where the motorcyclist has priority. It can often
happen that the car driver slows down but doesn’t completely stop his vehicle. In
which case the motorcyclist is unsure, if the car driver has seen/recognised him
and the question is whether the rider should brake, and possibly risk another
dangerous situation for vehicles following him? To help avoid such critical
situations, the motorcycle and car communicate to each other and the car driver
receives an indication/warning message to watch out for the motorcycle on the
In order to make this happen, cars and motorcycles have to exchange standardized
messages, called CAM and DENM messages which includes comprehensive set of
information about vehicle status, such as speed, direction and/or the braking
situation. To enable this communication to take place, CMC specialists have
programmed software and tested it in laboratories. Verification however needs to
be done in ‘real world’ scenarios and the Aldenhoven testing ground provides
perfect surroundings with a variety of road layouts to check the systems.
Warning timing is crucial
The precise time when actually to warn the vehicle users is a highly important
factor. In other words, when has the motorcycle rider or car driver passed a critical
threshold and when is it required to show the warning in both the motorcycle and
the car? If warnings come too early, confidence and acceptance of the system will
be undermined. If a warning comes too late, everyone can imagine the
consequences! CMC tested several scenarios over a number of speeds to validate
the assumptions made in the laboratory. Calibrations to the systems were done on
the spot and setups were improved during the testing sessions.
EEBL – brake light indication very useful
The so called EEBL (Electronic Emergency Brake Light) application was also tested
in Aldenhoven and proved being very useful. With this system, the motorcycle rider
receives information on the dashboard when another vehicle is undergoing hard
braking and this is particularly useful if there is no direct line of sight, for example if
a truck is between the braking vehicle and the motorcycle. This way the rider can
be warned earlier, to avoid rear end collisions.
CMC added important fine tuning to the algorithms being developed and optimized
the best suitable timing for the warning to be issued to the motorcycle rider.
Communication in two ways
Communication is a vital part of C-ITS. Motorcycles need to be able to ‘talk’ to other vehicles digitally. And also verbal communication plays a role: during the development of C-ITS, it is the people who need to talk and to coordinate what issues motorcycles and other vehicles should communicate about.
Digital communication: Antenna is the key
For cars, antenna performance criteria have already been discussed and developed since a long time. For motorcycles however, this is not so easy: due to their particular vehicle dynamics, size and layout, the antenna development poses quite a challenge. The Connected Motorcycle Consortium started to conduct tests in special measurement chambers and is also verifying the test results in real riding
conditions on the road.
The ideal position of a motorcycle antenna is a location on the front of the motorcycle. Most critical situations occur along the direction of riding and this is when ITS communication is needed to warn other vehicles of a motorcycle in critical range. However, due to leaning angle of motorcycles while cornering, the antenna performance decreases with amount of lean angle. The corridor of antenna
transmission becomes narrower. This results in a weaker transmission of signals to each side of the motorcycle. Accident scenarios based on studies carried out by academia and CMC will determine the threshold of such decreasing performance. The requirements currently worked out by CMC experts will be included in the CMC Basic System, which will describe CMC standards for motorcycle ITS systems.
The tests luckily showed, that the body of the rider him/herself has less influence in shielding antenna transmission than expected. Nevertheless, transmission of signals backwards still pose a challenge. Equipment such as luggage or side cases will influence antenna performance. And CMC is making studies how to ensure the motorcycle to transmit messages to avoid rear end collisions.
Verbal communication: talking to people
To be able to network with influencers like legislators, politics and automotive industry, and to make them aware of the current work in CMC, verbal communication is still important. Therefore CMC participates to key congresses around the world.
The recently held International Transport Forum in Leipzig was a good opportunity to address the world’s leading decision makers, amongst them road and traffic administrations, NGO’s, the WHO, politicians and user organizations, including FIA & FIM.
CMC spokesman Hennes Fischer participated in a round table discussion organized by IMMA, the global association of motorcycle manufacturers, to provide insights about the specific issues on powered two wheelers.
Next up is the 13th ITS European Congress in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, which will provide another possibility to explain challenges and opportunities of connected motorcycles to important stakeholders in the C-ITS world. On Wednesday 5th June, 13:00-14:00 hours, CMC will present a paper there: “CMC is paving the way for motorcycle connectivity”. For more information see the organizer webpage: https://2019.itsineurope.com/
This way, the C-ITS industry can take the peculiarities of motorcycles better into account when preparing for the future!
Real-life tests conducted
Motorcycles are usually less than 1 metre wide and their position within their lane is an important information to determine critical situations. In other words, it makes quite a difference if a rider keeps left or right in his lane. The Connected Motorcycle Consortium conducted several real-life tests both on public roads and in confined test environments at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI).
These tests were done with today’s GNSS localisations systems* in order to verify performance of these systems and to deduct CMC requirements for future safety applications on motorcycles.
* GNSS stands for Global Navigation Satellite System. Examples of such systems with global coverage are GPS from the U.S.A. and GLONASS from Russia. By 2020, BDS from China and Galileo from the E.U. should be operational as well.
Setting up the test units
As to be expected, currently used automotive satellite systems do not provide enough accuracy on lane specific positioning. Furthermore, it turned out that the calculation of the motorcycle trajectory under weak satellite signals – the so-called ‘dead reckoning’* - is more demanding compared to cars.
* In navigation, “dead reckoning” is the process of calculating the current position by using a previously determined position, or fix, and advancing that position based upon known or estimated speeds over elapsed time and course.
Parameters not usable as in case of cars
While for cars, steering angle and differential speed of wheels are key information to calculate a trajectory, for motorcycles, both are not available and not really useful. The differential speed of a motorcycle’s front and rear wheel does not indicate any directional change. Moreover, motorcycles do not have steering angles, which would allow calculation of their trajectory, since motorcycles are steered by inertia. Leaning angle, speed and most important centre of gravity are key parameters. Particularly centre of gravity is very difficult to measure, since the rider and his positioning on the bike have a massive influence on it.
Common standard needed
Raphael Riebl from THI is convinced: “We still have lots of work to do to solve the ‘dead reckoning’ issue for motorcycles. Furthermore, it is essential, that we do this together in CMC with all manufacturers involved. Only if we can decide on common standards and test methods, we can assure the same dependable level of accuracy in positioning of every motorcycle on the road.”
He contemplates: “Moreover, it is understood that only then we can go ahead with actual safety critical applications. So as an important next step we have to define a motorcycle-specific test scenario which includes the requirements for dead reckoning."
To create the demonstration, CMC was assisted by a new supporter, the global IT service provider Luxoft which developed the demo software for the user interface on the show car.
The CMC demonstration was part of a special interest-area called the “Connected Motorcycle World” where also other organisations showed new and interesting technologies for motorcycles in the future.
Hennes adds “When talking to people, an interesting thing that came out was the concern if the data would be stored, or who could see it. Clearly, data privacy is an important issue with this new technology so it will be important for us as manufacturers to take good care of that when developing these future systems.”
For the first time, the Connected Motorcycle Consortium will demonstrate connectivity and safety applications for motorcycles at a consumer show.
Thomas Bischof, coordinator in CMC says: “Together with other stakeholders in motorcycle connectivity, we will demonstrate safety applications designed for motorcycles. We’re looking forward to get the motorcycle riders opinion about these future technologies. In particular, the system that warns car drivers that motorcycles are nearby, might inspire the riders. As we know, the other vehicle driver not seeing the motorcycle causes a majority of motorcycle accidents. Our systems will warn the car driver, when a critical situation occurs!”
The International motorcycle show Intermot takes place from 2nd to 7th October 2018 at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The CMC stand, which is called ‘Connected Motorcycle World’ will be located in Hall 6, Stand number A040/B047.
CMC representatives will be available to visitors to demonstrate the connectivity applications on a motorcycle. Also, presentations are foreseen during the show, where more background information about the consortium and the technology will be given.
The Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC) and the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) will participate in the 2018 edition of the OECD International Transport Forum that will take place between 23 and 25 May in Leipzig, Germany.
The theme of the Forum will be “Transport Safety and Security” and it will address a wide range of issues including: connected vehicles, planning and design of safety transport systems, road infrastructure and safety management and the link between economic activity and road safety trends.
Motorcycle safety experts from the CMC and ACEM* will be present at the 2018 International Transport Forum to elaborate on some of the different initiatives led by the industry to improve motorcycle safety in Europe, CMC experts will discuss with attendees the potential of connected intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) to improve motorcycle safety, the need for interoperable C-ITS applications as well as the risks and benefits of car automation for motorcyclists’ safety.
Moreover, the Secretary General of the International Motorcycle Manufacturers’ Association will deliver a presentation on the situation of motorcycle safety at an international level.
For the first time a Motorcycle Consortium dedicated to ITS issues has joined the ESV conference in Detroit. CMC members used the opportunity during conference to speak directly to US rule makers, associations and the industry about the specific requirements for motorcycles regarding ITS implementation. Many have visited the CMC booth in the exhibition area. Since US has just passed a ‘Notice of proposed rulemaking’ for ITS deployment mainly aimed at cars, the motorcycle industry took up the challenge to bring their issues to the attention of US officials and other stakeholders. The appearance of CMC in US was very well received.
Later this year, CMC will be present at the ITS World Congress in Montreal. For the first time a special session on motorcycles is supported by the consortium together with ACEM, the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers and other stakeholders.
In June 2017 the Enhanced Safety of Vehicle (ESV) Conference took place in the ‘MotorCity’ Detroit.
At the CMC booth – located in the exhibition area of the CoBo Center – representatives of several CMC members informed interested Conference attendants about objectives, focus, outcomes and Consortium membership.
Many visitors of the ITS World Congress 2016 in Melbourne, Australia (October 10-14, 2016) used the opportunity to collect more information about the current work and planned projects of the Connected Motorcycle Consortium. At our stand in the Exhibition hall our guests also had the chance to test a simulation of various ITS functions in the PTW field.
In September 2016, CMC attended the Annual Conference of ACEM to provide to its members with info about the vision, organization and participation in this development partnership.
BMW Motorrad, Honda and Yamaha initiate the "Connected Motorcycle Consortium" in 2015
At the ITS World Congress 2015 in Bordeaux the motorcycle industry took a major step toward the “connected bike” when three major OEMs announced the launch of the initiative “Connected Motorcycle Consortium” to support the development of Cooperative-Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) applications in motorized two-wheelers.
(Picture from left: Dr. Karl Viktor Schaller of BMW Motorrad; Tetsuo Suzuki of Honda Motor Co; and Takaaki Kimura of Yamaha Motor Co.)