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The case for including motorcycles in V2V communication systems

Automakers have made tremendous strides over the last decade when it comes to safety technology. Indeed, more vehicles than ever now have previously unheard of safety features, including lane departure warning systems, blind spot monitors and even automated braking assist.

As impressive as this is, however, several automakers are hard at work on something even more impressive: vehicle-to-vehicle communication systems or simply V2V.

For those unfamiliar with V2V technology, it essentially involves outfitting vehicles with computers that wirelessly transmit vital safety data like speed and location at a rate of 10 times per second. These transmissions, in turn, are instantaneously received by the computers in other vehicles, which will then broadcast an audible warning to the driver if it determines that a crash risk is imminent.

The technology has thus far proven to be so effective and so road ready that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated just last year that it was already taking administrative steps to enable the use of V2V technology in cars, trucks and pickup trucks.

Not surprisingly then, many safety experts are now asking if and when V2V technology could be expanded to include motorcycles.

Specifically, they argue that statistics clearly indicate that the overwhelming majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by motorists who subsequently claim that they didn't see the motorcyclist prior to the collision, and that the V2V technology could serve to help to alleviate much of this situational blindness on the part of motorists.

It's easy to see how V2V technology could indeed help reduce some of the more common types of motorcycle accidents by giving motorists a 360-degree view that enables them to detect and recognize the presence of motorcyclists. Indeed, serious and deadly rear-end collisions, lane-change accidents and left-turn intersection crashes involving motorcycles would likely all be greatly reduced with V2V technology in light vehicles.

Here's hoping this V2V technology becomes a reality sooner than later and that future versions incorporate motorcycles into the safety equation.

Source: Ultimate Motorcycling, "Vehicle-to-vehicle communications for motorcycles?," Gary Ilminen, Jan. 6, 2015

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