The rush towards industry-wide adoption of adaptive cruise control continues. Patent paperwork shows Indian Motorcycles is working on this technology, with improvements over the current offerings from other manufacturers.
Over the last couple of years, there was plenty of buzz about adaptive cruise control coming to motorcycles. Adaptive cruise control works like standard cruise control, maintaining a constant speed—until it detects another vehicle in the lane ahead. Then, it keeps the motorcycle a set distance from that vehicle, maintaining a safe space between it and the bike.
In the fall of 2020, KTM, BMW and Ducati all announced adaptive cruise control for production bikes. Ducati’s system was in headlines recently, as the rader systems on its Multistrada V4 S just received North American approval. That bike offers rear-facing radar as well as front-facing, allowing Ducati to also integrate a rear-end collision warning system and blind spot warning system.
The system uncovered in this patent for Polaris-owned Indian also uses front-facing and rear-facing radar, but it seems to offer improvements over the systems currently on the market. The Indian system is able to be configured to follow different distances from different vehicle types; riders can select longer distances for vehicles such as transport trucks (which tend to be more dangerous to follow), or shorter distances for vehicles such as … other motorcycles.
Aha! This is going to be a big perk for cruiser riders who like parade duty. Want to ride bar-to-bar, to the bars, in Daytona? Your bike’s electro-brains can now take the work out of maintaining a safe riding distance from the bikes in front, beside and behind you. When Harley-Davidson’s patents for adaptive cruise control surfaced, the general consensus was this was the primary market for the tech. However, the H-D system hasn’t been announced on a production bike yet.
The new Indian radar system can also send haptic feedback to the rider, warning them of dangerously close vehicles in back. It can also be configured to send a visual alert (flashing brake light) to catch attention of approaching motorists.