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Design and AI for sustainable and safe motorCYcles

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On the road to green motorbikes

Safer, greener motorbikes are just around the corner thanks to a new blind-spot safety detection system and more sustainable manufacturing processes developed by the EU-supported DAICY project.

Digital Economy
Transport and Mobility

While practical for getting around busy cities, diesel- and petrol-consuming motorbikes are yet more causes of pollution. Internal combustion engines have kept us on the move in the past, but Swedish firm Tarform has its eyes on the future. Supported by the EU through the DAICY project, the team has developed a new design of electric motorbike that incorporates an innovative, blind-spot detection system. The result? A motorbike that is safer to ride and kinder on the environment. “Our goal was to prioritise natural, high-performance bio-materials and a more sustainable manufacturing process,” says Taras Kravtchouk, co-founder and designer at Tarform. “Our motorcycle is built to last, so one of its most sustainable features is that you can use it for years – if you don’t discard it you reduce the environmental footprint.” Tarform sees huge potential in the electric vehicle market. They need less maintenance, have fewer moving parts and using them will help cut overall CO2 emissions. “Our biggest hurdle is to make people aware of our product’s many benefits and demonstrate its viability,” says Jean-Christian Jung, co-founder and chief operating officer at Tarform.

A public hungry for innovative urban transport solutions

Registrations of motorcycles in the EU reached 564 850 units during the first 6 months of 2018, according to the latest figures from the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers. This represents an increase of 7.2 % compared to the same period in 2017. Tarform launched a 3-year feasibility study that showed there is a real appetite for their approach. The enthusiastic uptake of electric scooters, skateboards and bicycles, combined with greater restrictions on combustion engines in built-up areas, feed the public’s desire for innovation.

Safety first

Unfortunately, accidents involving traditional motorcycles are high. Some of the most common are caused by cars approaching from behind, according to the survey ‘Motorcycle Safety and Accidents in Europe’ by the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations. The Federation found that accidents are also commonly caused by riders not keeping enough distance from the traffic that surrounds them. “We were keen to do all we could to keep the riders using our motorbikes safe,” says Kravtchouk. So the DAICY team is trialling an integrated technical platform that learns as data is gathered. Haptic feedback is used to warn riders when there is traffic in their blind spot. “We tested the system in a controlled environment, and it made the driver feel safer,” he adds. At the moment, Tarform is further developing the blind-spot detection platform. “The EU funding helped us to start this project and take it to first base. We now have to continue to invest in the technology and execute our plan,” Jung says.

Keywords

DAICY, motorcycles, riders, electric vehicle, blind spot, detection system, safety, electric motorbike, sustainable manufacturing, Tarform

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