Honda ITS Lets Cars/Motorcycles Communicate

October 31, 2012
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
Cruiser Editor |Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

Honda ITS Car-Motorcycle communication system
Honda demonstrated the latest version of its Intelligent Transport Systems at the 19th World ITS Congress in Vienna. The system allows motorcycles equipped with the system to communicate between each other and with roadside ITS stations.
Honda Human-Motorcycle-Interface
The newest version of Honda’s ITS features a ‘Human-Motorcycle-Interface’ mounted on the fairing of a Honda NC700X.
Honda ITS simulator
Honda had both real-world and simulated ITS for people to test out at the Vienna ITS Congress.

A big grievance with motorcyclists is the fact that cars often don’t see them until it’s too late. This statement is backed by a European motorcycle accident study called ‘MAIDS’ that states “the majority of accidents involving motorcyclists are caused by the other vehicle not properly seeing the oncoming vehicle.” What if an electronic beacon notified car drivers of an approaching motorcycle before they were even in view? Honda’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) does just that, allowing cars and motorcycles to communicate between each other in addition to receiving information from roadside ITS stations. 

Honda demonstrated how its vehicles can communicate both with each other and with roadside stations last week at the 19th World ITS Congress in Vienna. People attending the event were given the opportunity to see the system in action in either the Car2Car or Testfeld Telematic Consortium demonstration using an ITS-equipped Honda Insight or an ITS Honda NC700X, the demonstration including both simulated experiences and real-world applications.

Honda says “The motorcycle-to-car connectivity system provides timely warnings to the drivers of both vehicles. The standardized data exchange message, which is sent between the networked vehicles, contains an identifier for motorcycles, so that the receiving vehicles are able to identify the oncoming vehicle as a ‘motorcycle’ and they can then take the necessary precautions.”

Honda has been developing the “Motorcycle Approaching Indicator (MAI)” application for years, debuting the system on a Honda GL1800 Gold Wing in 2008, but has been busy fine tuning it so that it can be employed on smaller motorcycles like the NC700X. The warning lights of its “Human-Motorcycle-Interface” have been installed at the crest of the NC700X fairing where it meets the windscreen so its signals are within easy view of riders. Honda also revealed at the ITS Congress research on an innovative electronic rear view system for motorcycles they claim is “augmented with advanced sensing technologies.”

Besides warning cars that a motorcycle is in the area, other merits of Honda’s safety device is its ability to communicate with roadside ITS stations which will provide notifications on hazards like road work, broken-down vehicles, or weather warnings. It can also warn of traffic jams and provide useful data like ‘green light optimal speed’ to help avoid catching red lights and keep traffic flowing.

Honda’s MAI system addresses two areas of traffic which are potentially the most dangerous for motorcyclists, when vehicles converge on perpendicular paths, or T-junctions, and when a vehicle executing a left hand turn cuts across the path of an oncoming motorcycle.

“The connected motorcycle heralds a revolution in motorcycling – and Honda is proud to be leading the charge,” concluded Honda’s ITS report.