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Car technology could save riders’ lives

Is this the end of SMIDSY?


Crashes involving motorcycles and cars are often referred to as SMIDSY incidents or “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you.”

Many riders complain that drivers not only don’t see them, but don’t even bother to look.

For years, motorcycle safety advocates have been asking authorities to better educate drivers to look out for riders.

However, it’s like banging your head against a brick wall. Drivers just don’t care. They don’t see motorcyclists as a threat.

Recently, technology seems to be compensating for poor driver behaviour and lack of attention to other road users.

We have seen such technologies as blind spot alerts that specifically monitor for small vehicles such as motorcycles.

And recently a nine-month pilot study was held in Ipswich, Queensland, where vehicles were fitted wth technologies that could identify vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcycle riders.

The Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP) involved 350 cars being fitted with cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) technology.

This included a roof-mounted antenna, a communications box under the driver’s seat and a warning display on the dashboard.

It monitored vehicle position, speed and data such as traffic lights, speed limits, road works, and other road hazards.

The pilot was a joint operation involving the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland, Telstra, Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, iMOVE Australia, Ipswich City Council, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

The QUT will release its final pilot safety evaluation report on the trial in early 2022.

Could this be the beginning of the end of SMIDSY crashes for riders? Or will such technology just be another excuse for drivers not to bother looking for riders?