Adaptive cruise control has become the norm on upper trim levels of mainstream automobiles, and the radar technology behind ACC has infiltrated the motorcycle ranks already, with both BMW and Ducati offering radar-based safety features. Recent Honda patents reveal that Big Red is working on an adaptive cruise control system for their mighty Goldwing, bringing the big cruiser more in line with their competitors’ technological offerings.
Bosch is providing the ACC systems for most of the other motorcycle manufacturers, but it is unclear whether Honda’s offering will come from the German supplier. The Honda patents surround the mounting and camouflaging of the radar systems, not the details of the ACC itself. As CycleWorld.com reports, Honda already uses Bosch ACC systems on some of their automobiles, so the two companies are already collaborating on that front.
A common tactic for hiding the radar systems on automobiles is to use a thin, flat plastic plate over the sensor, often using the brand’s front emblem as the mounting location. With much smaller frontal area and packaging concerns, and the lack of a large front emblem and grille, hiding the radar unit on motorcycles is more difficult. If the plastic cover is not perfectly flat and stable, the radar signatures can be compromised. Honda apparently aims to solve the issues by using a damping foam between the plastic and the sensor, that the radar can see through.
Another Honda patent uses the Africa Twin as an example, instead of the Goldwing, and features a rear-facing ultrasonic sensor more akin to a parking sensor. This unit would presumably be more for blind spot monitoring, rather than causing an annoying beep when pushing the motorcycle backwards.