Tire manufacturer Continental has a bold goal: To be part of a traffic system with no collisions.
Continental’s new “Vision Zer0” project is part of a new future the company is carving out, as part of the world’s move towards smart transportation. A press release on the company’s website details its future plans to work on tuning ABS and tires to work together for safer handling. That’s right, Continental is building ABS systems now, and we’re starting to see it pop up on motorcycles.
Continental also says it’s working with the Stop The Crash initiative. This is a “multi-stakeholder partnership led by Global NCAP,” and no doubt its efforts will go a long way towards convincing bureaucrats to mandate ABS on all motorcycles (this has already happened in Europe) and other similar moves.
This is the way the wind is blowing these days. A recent Honda press release detailed the company’s plans to “add omnidirectional ADAS (advanced driver-assistance system) to Honda Sensing™ technologies, to all new automobile models by 2030, striving for zero auto and motorcycle collision fatalities involving Honda products globally by 2050.” We’ve seen similar moves from other OEMs. The major European OEMs are all working on AI and onboard sensor arrays that help your motorcycle avoid trouble before it even happens. Kawasaki’s tech is even more far-out, with an AI pilot that adjusts the traction control and ABS systems to fit your riding style, while keeping you safe.
The one term that everybody is trying to avoid is “self-driving motorcycle” (with the possible exception of Yamaha’s Motobot, pretty hard to keep that concept under wraps). And yet, that’s increasingly where this safety tech is headed—ride on public streets, and insurers or regulators may demand you have significant self-driving tech, whether or not you want it. Good thing we’ll (probably) always have dirt bikes to continue enabling our poor safety decisions.