Automated technology is quickly becoming prevalent in cars and trucks. Motorcycles may soon be next. So far, the motorcycle industry has not seen as much advance in automated vehicle technology compared to four-wheel vehicles.
But as scientists develop ever-more-sophisticated automated technology, motorcycle companies are moving to include it in newer models. With motorcycles sales topping 500,000 units per year in the United States, some technology companies motorcycle manufacturers have seen a lucrative opportunity to develop automated technology for motorcycles.
The companies leading the way
Startups are currently the movers and shakers regarding advances in automated systems for motorcycles are currently. Damon X Labs, a startup based in Canada, is developing automated systems including adaptive cruise control. Ride Vision, an Israeli startup, has raised over $2.5 million in funding to develop similar technology. Following their lead, the auto parts supplier Bosch recently announced that it is also creating automated systems for motorcycles.
More automated technology, fewer accidents?
Automated technology could dramatically improve safety for motorcyclists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that motorcycle accidents occur 28 times more frequently than car accidents. Motorcycles equipped with automated technology may be able to help drivers determine whether to accelerate or decelerate to avoid an accident; provide a 360-degree view of a motorcyclist's surroundings; and alert the rider if he or she is leaning too hard. This could prevent numerous motorcycle accidents and personal injuries.
Currently, automated systems are still in the development and testing stage for motorcycles. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, many manufacturers will move to install it in their bikes. In the meantime, motorcyclists and drivers alike must take initiative to ride and drive safely to avoid injuries.