A recent patent application shows that Harley-Davidson (Harley) is working on an automated emergency braking system (AEB).  It’s not like the adaptive cruise control that other manufacturers are bringing to market.   It’s more like the AEB systems found in many cars and works automatically only in emergencies where a crash is imminent.

Harley’s AEB system uses multiple sensors, which could potentially “talk” to an adaptive cruise control system.  But it’s the type and number of sensors that are significant.


A drawing from Harley-Davidson’s AEB patent application.

Not only is the bike sensing forward, but it is also sensing backward.  For example, a camera on the dash looks back at the rider keeping tabs on him/her.  There are also sensors in the handlebar, grips, and seat.  A helmet-mounted camera will track the rider’s eye to assess which direction the rider is looking.  The idea is to ensure that the rider is focusing on the road ahead.

If you’re wondering how the system will interact with the rider, it will use a series of warning lights, haptic (vibrating), and audible warnings to alert the rider.  If the rider does not respond, the system will apply the bike’s brakes until it stops.


Your bike is looking at a lot of things, including you!

Finally, some sensors track braking force and add more if it deems that the rider is not applying enough.

Should a system like the one Harley is working on come to market, would you be interested in having it on your bike?  Or is it just too much “Big Brother” like for your taste.  Let us know in the comments below.


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