These Advanced Radar Technologies Are Enhancing Motorcycle Safety - SUV VEHICLE

These Advanced Radar Technologies Are Enhancing Motorcycle Safety



  • Automotive radar has evolved significantly since the 1970s.
  • Bosch leads in motorcycle safety tech with radar systems, potentially preventing one in seven accidents.
  • Vayyar Imaging’s 4D imaging radar sensors, like those in Piaggio motorcycles, offer high-end safety with fewer sensors and lower costs.

Radar systems (Radio Direction And Ranging systems) are already well-established in the maritime and aircraft industry. Then, in the early 1970s, the general requirements for automotive radar applications were developed within NTÖ 49, a German research program supported by what was then the Ministry of Science and Technology (BMFT). The necessary range (100 m) and corresponding antenna requirements (2.5 by 3.5° for az and el) were theoretically calculated and tested. This demonstrates that, even then, the idea of using automotive radar as a means to reduce accident rates on the streets was being considered.

In an AZ-EL system anywhere on Earth, east is 90 degrees AZ, and
halfway up in EL or altitude (ALT) would be 45 degrees
. AZ-EL and ALT-AZ are simply different names for the same reference system, ALTitude being the same measurement as ELevation.

Thirty years later, Bosch introduced the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) distance radar. This marked a new beginning and approach to autonomous driving. It was first brought into cars by Mercedes-Benz in 1999 to support its adaptive speed feature, as simply an assistance system for safety in luxury cars. The ACC was basic cruise control fitted with a radar sensor and electronic control. Since then, Bosch has gone on to become the world’s leading developer and supplier of motorcycle safety technology. It has already made motorcycles safer with ABS and MSC, and now the company is going one step further with radars. It suggests that radar-based assistance systems (ARAS) could prevent one in seven motorcycle accidents. Here’s everything you need to know about these technologies.

To give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Cycle World, Vayyar Imaging and Bosch.

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Adaptive Cruise Control

Riding on freeways and maintaining the correct distance to the vehicle in front takes a great deal of concentration and is strenuous over longer periods. With the introduction of Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), it adjusts the vehicle’s speed according to the flow of traffic and maintains the necessary safe following distance. This can effectively prevent rear-end collisions caused by insufficient distance to the vehicle in front during emergency braking. Not only does ACC offer riders more convenience, it also allows them to concentrate more on the road, particularly in high-density traffic.

The Ducati’s Multistrada V4 became the world’s first production motorcycle to feature radar in the front and rear. Each unit measures 70 x 60 x 28 mm and weighs 190 grams, integrating perfectly into the V4. The radar positioned in the front of the vehicle controls the operation of the ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control), which, by means of controlled braking and acceleration, automatically adjusts the distance from other vehicles. Not to be outdone, Kawasaki’s 998cc Ninja H2 SX, one of its most advanced sport tourers also features a dedicated Bosch radar-based Advanced Rider Assist System (ARAS) that provides benefits in real-time that include Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Blind Spot Detection (discussed below).

Key Highlights

  • Using ARAS, the rider can concentrate on the current traffic situation
  • The system assists the rider in critical situations and supports in avoiding accidents
  • Electronic assistants are always vigilant and, in emergencies, they respond more quickly than people can

Forward And Rear Collision Warning System

The forward collision warning alerts the rider at an early point in time to the danger of a rear-end collision, so that the rider is able to react in time.

In road traffic, even the briefest lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. So Bosch has developed a collision warning system for motorcycles to reduce the risk of getting too close to a vehicle in front as well as to mitigate rear-end collisions. The system is active as soon as the vehicle starts, and it supports the rider in all relevant speed ranges. If the system detects that another vehicle is dangerously close, it warns the rider.

The Collision Warning system uses a radar sensor located in the front fairing and in the tail of a motorcycle to detect the distances between vehicles ahead and behind, plus their relative speed. This allows the system to assess the situation and determine whether the motorcycle needs to slow down due to a sudden change of speed with respect to other vehicles. If required, the rider is alerted via dashboard signals. The location of the radars may be subtly different between manufacturers to get them to work effectively.

Key Highlights

  • Forward Collision Warning Systems (FCWS) warn you of an impending collision by scanning for stopped or slowly moving vehicles ahead of you
  • Vehicles with FCW Systems can become equipped with further safety technologies including automatic braking
  • Most FCW Systems become active at 5 miles per hour

Blind Spot Detection

 Blind spot detection registers objects in hard-to-see areas and uses an optical signal to warn the rider if the situation becomes dangerous.

This function keeps a lookout in all directions to help motorcyclists change lanes safely. A radar sensor serves as the blind spot detection’s eye, registering objects your peripheral vision might miss out. Whenever there is a vehicle in the rider’s blind spot, the technology warns them by way of an optical signal. In most cases, there’s a warning light in the rearview mirrors.

Ducati’s rear radar can detect and report vehicles positioned in the blind spot. The BSD (Blind Spot Detection) system also signals approaching vehicles coming up behind at high speed. Developing the system was a collaborative effort between Ducati, the Department of Electronics, and Information and Bio-engineering of the Politecnico di Milano. Ducati took the system to the next level by developing the complete ARAS package in close cooperation with Bosch.

Key Highlights

  • Reduces the risk of accidents during lane changes
  • The early detection of fast-approaching vehicles in the blind spot is aided by the help of corner radar sensors
  • Based on the manufacturer’s system, if the rider fails to spot or ignores the warning and activates the turn signal to change lanes, the system can trigger an additional warning

Honda’s Crosswind Assist And Lane Warning Systems

Solving crosswinds via the Crosswind Assist System which would nudge the motorcycle back into the center of the lane when different intensities of wind affect the motorcycle's intended path of travel.

Honda has been working on self-steering rider assistance systems for quite a while now and insights into their system were unveiled in 2022. It continues to explore novel applications and modes for this concept, with its most recent endeavor focusing on a crosswind-countering system. Similar to prior patents, Honda’s latest iteration revolves around a servo-assisted steering apparatus occupying a space between an active steering damper and an auto-steering mechanism.

Positioned behind the steering head, the actuator is fixed to the triple clamps via an arm and linkage arrangement. Though it resembles a rotary steering damper, its function extends beyond the mere restraint of handlebar movements. It is capable of adjusting steering via an onboard computer that works in tandem with various sensors calculating acceleration, speed, steering torque, angle, radar, and camera. The objective is to execute the optimal course of action for the motorcycle in the best possible way. In normal conditions, the rider is in complete control of the motorcycle, but when required, the system steps in to provide an additional safety net.

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Rider-Assist Cameras Being developed by Kawasaki

Honda’s latest patent linked to the system hopes to counter varying intensity crosswinds to keep the motorcycle steady and the rider on its intended trajectory within the designated lane. The computer divides the traveling lane into several narrow “virtual lanes,” depicted by dotted lines in the patent illustrations, with the aim of confining the motorcycle within one of these lanes. Furthermore, the system is integrated into a number of rider aids, including Adaptive Cruise Control with the ability to detect and intervene depending on nearby vehicles’ positions and road boundaries to tailor intervention based on urgency.

Key Highlights

  • ECU takes information from various sensors to determine the best possible course
  • Camera captures road images and the data is sent to an electronic control unit for processing and recognition
  • Tied in with Adaptive Cruise Control

Vibration Feedback

Honda's intended vibration mechanism in the bar which is an offset weight attached to a motor

In parallel, Honda has submitted another patent about a fundamental aspect of their prospective rider-assist system: vibration feedback for the rider. This practice is already prevalent in automobiles, wherein the steering wheel or seat vibrations warn the driver of lane departure or sub-consciously slipping into the airspace of other vehicles. Honda proposes a similar mechanism for motorcycles. Given the ineffectiveness of auditory warnings and the likelihood of overlooking indicators, Honda’s proposal involves vibrating the left or right handlebar, or both simultaneously, to provide tangible feedback.

The judder effect is achieved through a mechanism reminiscent of the “force feedback” systems employed in video game controllers. An offset weight affixed to an electric motor generates controlled vibrations, with Honda’s patent proposing the integration of motors within each handlebar end weight. Similar to gaming controllers, these vibrations could vary in intensity and rhythm, serving as indicators for lane-keeping or blind-spot monitoring warnings, among other applications.

Key Highlights

  • Vibration or force feedback similar to the judder from the aircraft yoke or joystick provides a warning to the rider warning them of lane departure
  • Motors are built into the left and right-hand side handlebar end weight
  • Either side of the handlebar can be vibrated individually

Vayyar Imaging

Piaggio MP3 530

Like Bosch, Vayyar Imaging Limited is a well-known Israeli semiconductor supplier that develops and manufactures 4D imaging radar sensors. Known for providing an effective means of screening for cancer, Vayyar’s radar-on-chip technology has gone beyond medical applications and is now used in a variety of industries including retail, smart home, commercial property, and automotive. Already present in the automotive industry, its automotive-grade 4D imaging technology provides an ultra-wide field of view and unprecedented resolution. The sensor detects and tracks multiple targets simultaneously at high accuracy, enabling high-end safety for all vehicles with fewer sensors, less complexity, and lower costs.

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Vayyar’s mmWave 4D Imaging Radar-on-Chip (RoC) is a high-performance solution for the development of ARAS applications. Leveraging a long-range, wide azimuth-elevation FoV and high-resolution data output, the compact single-chip platform provides reliable data that enables OEMs to integrate new motorcycle safety technology supported by split-second sensing. Vayyar claims that their system uses more antennas for increased sensitivity compared to the competition. Piaggio is one of its first customers and plans to use the same technology for its Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycles. All said and done, never forget attentiveness and responsibility should remain your focus in any specific environment. After all, neither system here is autonomous!

Key Highlights

  • Vayyar’s front and rear radar is classified as 4-D imaging while the competition is 2D Doppler
  • Vayyar’s target imaging is between 1 and 2 degrees while the competition is 7 degrees
  • The competition’s radar can target 32 objects while Vayyar’s is countless


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