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Fast Filings: New Honda Patent Shows Updates for Rider Assist Tech

Patent Application Shows “Crosswind Assist” and “Lane Warning”

A guy standing behind a cuiser bike.
A view of Honda's 2024 Shadow Phantom. Media provided by Honda.

While work continues on that beginner-friendly adventure bike we covered a few weeks back, new patent applications have already popped up showing Honda has new rider assist tech being prepped for future lineups. 

A front quarter view of a rider on an adventure bike.
A view of Honda’s 2024 Africa Twin. Media provided by EICMA.

Why continue to invest money in rider assist tech?

I know some of you are wondering, “Why rider aids? We don’t really need all that techy stuff bothering a motorcycle’s pure vibe.”

While everybody is entitled to their opinions, Honda is driven to improve what they have already provided to their clientele – and that push for improvement carries multiple motives: 

  • To keep up with the competition
  • To enhance rider safety amidst the formidable presence of today’s torque-happy cars
  • To provide novel products to a dedicated fanbase

We get it; not all tech aligns perfectly with today’s traffic. It seems like yesterday that we covered that massive recall for all Tesla models due to complications from a defective “autosteer” system, begging the reminder that perfection can never be guaranteed (in machines or otherwise). 

Still, other tech systems like ABS have been in play for our motorcycle markets since 1988, (courtesy of BMW), are lauded as a “life-saving safety system,” and have been mandatory for 12 years in Europe (since the European Commission made ABS mandatory on all 125cc+ motorcycles, motion passed as of 2012, in effect as of 2016. Via Wikipedia). 

In short, companies like Honda must keep up with the competition, so papers continue to be filed in the pursuit of another “life-saving” rider assist system. 

A side view of a bike in a blueprint.
A view of the areas Honda plans on revising to carry new rider assist tech like Crosswind Assist and Lane Warning. Media provided by CycleWorld.

What does Honda’s new filing show for rider assist tech?

The patent application uncovered for today’s perusal is sourced by the ever-comparable Ben Purvis (CycleWorld), showing two new rider-assist ideas for Big Red’s bikes:

  • Lane Warning
  • Crosswind Assist
A picture of tech descriptions for rider aids on a motorcycle.
A look at all of the directives needed to make “Crosswind Assist” happen for a Honda bike. Media provided by CycleWorld.

Lane Warning

If implemented tomorrow, the idea of lane warnings would not be new to our roads; in fact, Honda’s had a “Lane-Departure Warning” for select car models as part of their Honda Sensing® suite since the mid-2010s (via AutoBlog). 

All the more reason for Honda to integrate the tech into their motorcycles, yeah?

According to Purvis, this “Lane Warning” will be very similar to the tech present on Honda’s four-wheeled machines (and haptic tech in videogame controllers). 

Should a rider find themselves drifting across lane lines (presumably without giving notice via turn signals), a little motor installed inside the bike’s bar will buzz a vibration through the bike’s bars to warn the rider of dangerous behavior.

A picture of lane warning tech for motorcycles.
A view of how Honda’s Lane Warning tech would work. Media provided by CycleWorld.

Crosswind Assist

We already know that Honda is obsessed with the idea of self-balancing software; Crosswind Assist, by comparison, would correct the bike using an actuator that’s put at the steering head to measure for gusts of airflow and redirect the bike as needed.

Here’s the explanation from Purvis on the details of Crosswind Assist: 

Visually, it’s not unlike a rotary steering damper, but…it can introduce steering of its own at the command of an onboard computer. 

That computer is fed information from an array of sources, including acceleration and speed sensors, steering torque and angle sensors, radar, and a camera, with the aim of working out what you want the bike to do and how best to achieve that goal… [splitting] the lane you’re traveling in into several, narrow “virtual lanes,” shown by dotted lines in the patent drawings, [and attempting] to keep the bike within one of those lanes.”

– Ben Purvis, “Honda’s Crosswind Assist and Lane Warning Systems” (CycleWorld)

Expect to see this tech used alongside rider aids in present-day use (like adaptive cruise control). 

What do you think of these two new bits of tech Honda’s working on for future lineups?

*Media provided by EICMA, as well as Roadracing World (Honda press release), Honda, and Cycleworld*