Have you heard of automatic braking systems? These can usually be found on cars and involve a computer tripping the brakes if radar sensors detect a possible collision. This feature has been a popular and successful addition to cars and trucks, but would it be as successful on motorcycles? Harley-Davidson and some other manufacturers might think so.
Harleys that Stop Themselves?
Not long ago, we talked about new safety technologies you could soon see on motorcycles. Among those possible new safety features is auto-braking. Bosch is reportedly working with KTM and Ducati to develop a system for their bikes. Meanwhile, Honda has its own Skunk Works developing an emergency braking system of its own. Even Harley-Davidson is trying not to seem too out of touch with this new motorcycling trend.
A new patent filed with the U.S. Patent Office has been uncovered by Motorcycle.com. This design seems to illustrate how a Harley-Davidson automatic braking system would work. It outlines sensors in the handlebars, in the motorcycle’s seat and in other places all over the bike. These sensors will apparently feed a driver attentiveness monitor that will determine if automatically braking the bike is a good idea.
Unlike four-wheeled motor vehicles, motorcycles are more unstable due to the fact that they only have two wheels. This means automatically throwing on the brakes could instantly cause a crash, defeating the safety advantages of having such a system. In order for emergency braking to work on a motorcycle, rider position, weight distribution and distance all have to be factored in to make sure a rider won’t crash when the brakes come on.
It’s this complication that has many riders skeptical of the possibility of auto-braking coming to motorcycles. However, many manufacturers have gone all in to develop systems that can handle a task as complex as putting the brakes on while riding. Do you think their efforts will succeed?