BMW Motorrad equips motorbikes with “smart” eCall system

May 02, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The automatic emergency call (eCall) system will be mandatory for cars in the European Union from 2018. Since the risk to incur severe injuries in a traffic accident is significantly higher for bikers than for car drivers, BMW Motorrad has developed a specific eCall system for motorbikes. In some ways, it is smarter than the standard eCall for cars.

Though the result of synergies with “standard” eCall for cars, the bike emergency call system needs to understand the situation better. After  all, accident scenarios for two-wheelers are more diverse than for cars.

 

The motorbike eCall system, expected to be available early in 2017, will distinguish between three crash scenarios: First scenario: Severe crash or cropper. Such a crash immediately activates the system, triggering an emergency message to the next BMW call center. This status is indicated at the bike’s instrument panel. While the call center will try to get into voice contact with the driver, an emergency service is sent to the crash site in any case. The call center will try to maintain this contact until an emergency service is arriving, the emergency call cannot be aborted by the driver. Second scenario: Light crash. In such cases, the emergency call will only be activated after 25 seconds. In case no assistance is required, the driver can stop the call by the push of a button. If there is no action whatsoever from the driver, the rescue chain is activated like in case one. Third scenario: Manual activation. In such cases, the driver pushes a button at the right hand side of the handlebar. In this case, the system transmits a datagram and establishes a voice connection to the call center. Manual activation is only possible at zero speed and ignition switched on. The driver can terminate the process at any time by pushing a button or switching ignition off.

 

To prevent false alarms, the system detects non-emergency situations such as falling over in a stationary position, minor accidents at low speed, concussion through potholes or off-road riding or minor jumps. Sensors on the motorcycle detect which event occurred. A crash sensor detects events such as collisions with another vehicle or crashing into an obstruction. A banking angle sensor detects high and low-siders, i.e. which position the