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Honda plans blind spot alert

Honda VFR800X

The age of electronic rider assistance seems to be approaching at an ever-increasing rate with the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer, Honda, applying for a blind spot alert patent.

BMW was the first motorcycle manufacturer to offer blind spot alert technology in two-wheel vehicles and Bosch is working on blind spot alerts for motorcycles and now Honda seems to be following suit.

The Japanese company has filed a patent for a system that uses cameras and radar to detect vehicles in the rider’s blind spot.

It will have a visual display in the instruments or in a separate housing on the triple clamp that shows where the obstructed vehicle is and tactile warnings.

If the rider pushes the indicator to turn in that direction, they will find the indicator switch difficult to move, which acts as a warning to the rider.

The patent also says there could be other alerts such as vibrations in the handlebar grip, footpegs, seat or the fuel tank knee indents.

It was lodged with drawings of the device on a VFR1200, but could be applied to any of their motorcycles.

The BMW Side View Assist system only uses flashing warning lights and is being offered as an option in their C650 GT and Sport maxi-scooters.

C650 GT and Sport maxi-scooters with an optional blind spot monitoring system
C650 GT and Sport maxi-scooters with an optional blind spot monitoring system

There is no word yet on how the Bosch system will work, when it will be available and on which vehicles.

Blind spot technology has been around for about 10 years in cars, starting Swedish safety-oriented car brand Volvo, and now spreading to many other brands and vehicles.

Some supply a visual warning of flashing lights in the instrument panel, or on the wing mirrors, while others use vibrations in the steering wheel or seat.

Are these rider and driver assistance systems improving safety or making motorists lazy?

  1. A vibration as an alert on a motorbike? Do any of these geniuses ride?
    All safety devices are dangerous and often result in accidents or deaths.
    Seat belts have been known to decapitate children and trap people in submerged or burning vehicles and people not wearing them have escaped death and serious injury because they were ejected from a vehicle they would have died in. Yet that is the exception to the rule as most often seatbelts save lives. ABS saves lives but it is not as cut and dried as seatbelts the ABS system can be fooled into turning off the brakes on a corrugated surface or it can just fail when you get used to having it and plough into the back of a truck when you should have stopped. The tree trunk thick A pillars in most cars to prevent death in rollovers are now possibly killing more pedestrians and motorcyclists and drivers who pull out in front of trucks because the pillar hid them the they are saving in rollovers.
    All motorists should be taught to drive in a in the equivalent of a sixties era vehicle and no ABS or other aids should be active on learner bikes when they are taught emergency braking and other such techniques.
    All riders and drivers should drive as if all the safety stuff isn’t there because sometimes it won’t be.

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