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Automated car technology makes its way into motorcycles

Motorcycles are truly a thrill to ride. The rev of the engine, the pull of acceleration, smooth cornering on an alpine road – it reminds you of the joy of driving after a long work week of commuting among traffic. It is, however, a fact that motorcycle riders face an increased risk of accidents. Fortunately, cutting edge technology is breaking new ground in motorcycle safety.

This year, Canadian startup Damon X Labs, Israeli startup Ride Vision and Bosch have all announced that they were working on new driver-assistance systems specially designed for bikes.

Era of the self-driving motorcycle?

According to Recode, an independent tech news outlet, these companies are focusing their efforts on rider-assistance features to improve safety. Damon X Labs and Bosch have been developing adaptive cruise control which will automatically speed up and slow down based on traffic conditions.

Ride Vision is planning a slightly more sophisticated tech which uses a system of bike-mounted cameras to create a 360-degree field of vision around your ride. When a potential threat, such as a car, enters the bike’s field of view, indicator lights on the mirrors give warning.

Neither of these features will make motorcycles completely self-navigating in the way autonomous cars are planned to be, but they do appear to be stepping stones along the way. These features have not gone into mass production yet, though the ideas behind them may be worked into the design of bikes in the years to come.

The road to safety

With these advances in rider-assisted motorcycles, it begs the question of how badly riders want their machines driving for them. Part of what makes riding a motorcycle a special experience is feeling control over the vehicle. If that control is constantly being taken from you, what is the point in riding in the first place?

It is difficult to pin down where these safety features will land over the next several years, but it can be argued that the industry needs to re-evaluate motorcycle safety. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities are 28 times more likely per mile when traveling by motorcycle versus by car. It would be a disservice to motorcyclists everywhere to not try to drive that number down.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, be sure to reach out to a skilled attorney. Injuries from auto accidents can lead to major medical bills, damage to your bike, lost wages while you recover and even surgery or rehab. You don’t have to take the brunt of those financial burdens alone.

Technology and how it helps the auto industry is a beautiful thing. Fully autonomous cars are still several years off, and who knows when self-driving motorcycles may start appearing on the highway. For now, these incremental steps in technology will at least help riders stay safe.

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