Study investigates V2V communications with motorcycles

June 14, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Vehicle-to-vehicle communications (V2V) hitherto has been associated to cars, truck and buses. Now motorbikes come into play: Within the scope of the safety research program US Safety Pilot Model Deployment, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute includes motorcycles in a study to determine how all kinds of motorized vehicles can benefit from V2V. BMW and Honda are providing the motorcycles; Cohda Wireless contributes the V2V equipment for the bikes.

proof of concept for incorporating motorcycles into the connected vehicle environment. The two tasks are motorcycle communications feasibility testing and motorcycle to vehicle performance testing.

The V2V connected vehicle equipment is based upon the RoadLINK chipset, a fruit of the between Cohda Wireless and NXP Semiconductors. The chipset consists of a software defined radio chip from NXP running connected vehicle firmware from Cohda.

Paul Gray, CEO of Cohda Wireless, noted it was important that connected vehicle technology be extended to vulnerable road users such as motorcycle riders and pedestrians. Analysis by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows connected vehicle technology could potentially address approximately 80 per cent of the crash scenarios involving non-impaired drivers.

Also according to NHTSA data, motorcycle accidents represent five per cent of all highway fatalities, but 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death as compared to 20 percent for cars. This makes it vital that connected vehicle technology also addresses these vulnerable road users. Motorcycles have an important role in USDOT's overall safety strategy.

Onboard and roadside units from Cohda, Cisco and NXP have been tested to global standards in major field trials. One such trial is the Safety Pilot Model Deployment trial in Ann Arbor, Michigan managed by UMTRI for the USDOT. With almost 3000 vehicles, this trial is the largest connected vehicle trial in the world, and Cohda supplies the equipment for 1500 of these vehicles. Another V2V field trial, SimTD is currently conducted in Germany; the presentation of its results is scheduled for later this month.

Cohda and Cisco have jointly developed roadside equipment that enables robust V2I communications for such safety applications as Curve Speed Warnings and Traffic Signal Violation Warnings. Both of these applications hold particular importance for motorcycle riders. Cohda has also developed a vehicle awareness device that enables robust V2V communications for such safety applications as Intersection Collision