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Safety Beyond ABS In 2-Wheelers

With personal mobility picking up, Two Wheelers are gaining traction, Let us look at safety technologies beyond ABS

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ABS is now a part of our ecosystem. Every 2-wheeler over 125cc and all passenger cars sold after April 1, 2019, is now equipped with ABS, making it safer. However, as we strive to make our vehicles safer, we need to ponder on the next step in safety. With the evolution of 2-wheelers worldwide, it is not sufficient to stop at ABS if we want to make our roads truly safe. 

2-wheelers are the most popular form of transport in India, with over 21 million vehicles sold in 2019. Post COVID-19, there is a considerable rise in demand for 2-wheelers, which indicates that more people have begun to invest in personal transportation, moving away from the previously perceived trend of shared mobility. 

The India RoadMap

India, with the varied geographies and weather conditions, has unique requirements. Additionally, the market is more value-driven, and some technologies could be delayed in India. In the passenger car segment, India lags the Western road map. There are various challenges related to infrastructure and the technology cost, which inhibit the adoption of some technologies in the country that are already popular in other countries. 

However, in the 2-wheeler segment, the Indian requirements are vastly different. After ABS was made mandatory by law, it is regarded as a 'regular feature' in 2-wheelers, of course, in 125 CC and above. This means the younger customer is already looking towards the horizon, demanding newer features. Some of these features are offered in the premium segment in other parts of the world. In India, the low-cost versions of these features have a massive scope. 

Let us look at technologies that have good potential to gain popularity in the 2-Wheeler space: 

Blind Spot Detection

Typically considered a premium feature in other parts of the world, the Indian market is ripe for a low-cost model. This could be introduced in vehicles below the 125cc market as well. This Assisted-Riding function can monitor the blind spot areas and can indicate hazardous lane changes. The radar senses the road behind the rider and warns if lane change at a given moment can lead to accidents. The introduction of Blind Spot Detection will increase the sense of safety for Indian riders.

Traction Control

Given the varied riding conditions in India, this is a popular demand. Simply put, traction control helps reduce the tire slip in the movement on slippery roads and surfaces. It helps to accelerate and maneuver efficiently and adequately, which makes riding safer. 

A 2-Wheeler traction control system uses sensors to monitor if the rear wheel is spinning faster than the front wheel. Once the speed difference is sensed, the traction control system helps to reduce the torque on the spinning wheel. Thus, limiting the chance of slipping or skidding.

Optimized Curve Braking

When the riders are traveling intracity, they have to drive through a plethora of curves and turns, ranging from ring-roads to fly-overs. Drivers need to be particularly careful when applying the brakes in curves, otherwise their ride will end abruptly with a fall. With optimized curve braking, the brake system takes the angled position of the motorcycle into account. Depending on the incline, the ABS control becomes more sensitive, and the pressure modulation is more flexible to improve vehicle handling in curves, making the braking process safer.

eHorizon

For long-distance and touring purposes, Continental has a unique solution for the riders. eHorizon is an additional virtual sensor that networks data from various sources, assess it intelligently, and relays it to other vehicles. The eHorizon system for 2-wheelers interconnects bikers, offers a shared platform to motorcyclist communities, and allows motorcyclists to share important route information. Thus, the eHorizon informs bikers in advance of obstacles along their route, such as road works, accidents, oil or water on the road, or traffic jams, and enhances safety for them and other road users. 

Intelligent Headlight Assist

The ARAS™ function Intelligent Headlight Assist" (IHA) enables better vision at night. Motorcyclists can delegate the constant tedious task of changing from high to low beam to the electronic co-pilot. It detects the vehicles' lights in front and oncoming vehicles and switches the high-beam headlamp whenever possible to ensure optimum lighting of the road. 

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Maintaining optimal tire pressure is crucial for 2-Wheeler's riding and braking performance, thus contributing to overall riding safety. The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) measures the tire pressure, transmits the reading, and displays to the rider. The rider is alerted of a critical situation using a corresponding signal. The TPMS takes the reading directly on the wheel. 

As the younger customers are becoming more aware of the safety features, the demand for such technologies will see keenness. Going by the trend, it is safe to say that we can expect these features to become more prominent in the Indian 2-wheeler market in the course of the next five years.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


Jaidev Venkataraman

The Author is the Head of Engineering, Vehicle Dynamics business unit, Autonomous Mobility, and Safety, Continental Automotive India.

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