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Saving lives on the motorbike

Motorbike accidents often represent needless deaths and have terrible repercussions for society. The EU is trying to curb these accidents through new safety systems.
Saving lives on the motorbike
Motorcycles and scooters, technically called powered two-wheelers (PTWs), are excessively implicated in fatal road accidents, prompting policymakers and governments to search for a solution. The EU-funded project 'Powered two-wheelers (PTW) integrated safety' (PISA) investigated new fail-safe integrated systems to enhance safety in PTWs. It aimed to help the EU reach its target of 50 % reduction in road accident fatalities.

The project team set out to assess user needs and identify frequent causes of accidents by analysing video footage at dangerous junctions. It examined rider-bike interaction, monitored behaviour and observed dangerous manoeuvres. The team then looked at current technologies and safety systems in passenger cars to apply them to PTWs. The proposed system is based on technology that combines sensors and warning devices with an advanced braking and variable automatic suspension system to reduce accidents.

PISA elaborated requirements for an integrated safety system for PTWs that detects dangerous situations and prevents potential accidents. It developed a motor driver assistance system (MDAS) for motorcycles based on the advanced sensors, as well as a warning strategy and collision mitigation strategy. After conducting laboratory tests on safety, the project helped design full-scale prototypes for two participating manufacturers.

Various testing schemes demonstrated the system's success in active braking (AB), enhanced braking (EB), brake assist technology and combined braking (CB), among others. The tests showed, under laboratory conditions, that the PISA system can decrease casualties significantly.

Although its operation in the real world remains to be scene, PISA nonetheless contributed important data for mitigating accidents. As such, project results are bound to help policymakers develop more effective strategies to reduce PTW casualties in Europe.

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