Suzuki is working on inter-vehicle safety systems by developing a design for bike-mounted radar reflectors.
While manufacturers are still developing on-bike safety tech, stuff like leaning ABS, some OEMs are also working on vehicle-to-vehicle safety systems. These sorts of designs are already common in the car world; modern automobiles come loaded with blind spot warning buzzers and other systems to stop cars from inadvertent collisions. Some manufacturers, especially the ones who make both cars and motorcycles, are working on systems that are specifically designed to prevent motorcycle-car collisions. Using cameras or radar, they warn of impending crashes and intervene to prevent the the collision. Of course, systems like this are essential to self-driving car systems.
It’s important that companies work on these designs, as bike-car crashes make up a huge part of motorcycle fatality statistics. The “Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You” line isn’t just an urban legend. When you consider the move towards automated vehicles, the need for devices that enhance visibility is even greater.
So what exactly is Suzuki working on here? What we’ve got is a newly unearthed patent drawing showing Suzuki’s design for radar reflectors, designed to interact with a car’s onboard detection system. These reflectors would be mounted on the motorcycle, or possible even on the rider, to alert a nearby car of the bike’s presence. Sure, the bike should show up on radar systems anyway, but a cleverly designed reflector will encourage visibility, by aggressively disrupting radar waves.
This isn’t breaking-edge technology. Several companies are working on designs like this, and radar reflectors are common on other types of vehicles, like boats. However, it is encouraging to see Suzuki thinking ahead, as its technical developments haven’t exactly set the motorcycle world on fire in recent years. Although we see designs like the turbocharged Recursion concept bike at trade shows, it’s re-warmed SV650s and GSX-S1000s that show up on showroom floors. But with Suzuki’s all-new plant now producing bikes, maybe we’re about to see a shift towards the future from the company.