Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

SIM — Result In Brief

Project ID: 31348
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Italy

Setting motorbike safety in motion

Motorbikes are ideal urban vehicles but their safety track record is somewhat troubling. The latest active, passive and preventive safety systems can help pave the way to a safer riding experience.
Setting motorbike safety in motion
Thousands of people die in road accidents every year in the European Union, with about a hundred killed each day. The number of fatalities connected with motorbike accidents stood at 6 000 in 2001. In recent years, the EU has launched a slew of initiatives and programmes aimed at curbing the carnage – and the effort seems to be paying off. Recently released European Commission statistics reveal that EU road fatalities dropped by 11 % in 2010. This is encouraging but more can be done to drive the numbers down even more.

Funded by the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), the ‘Safety in motion’ (SIM) project aimed to develop an innovative two-wheel vehicle equipped with novel safety devices that would result in fewer accidents and their related consequences for riders.

SIM pursued an integrated approach to motorcycle safety which linked together the three main pillars – the vehicle, the rider and the road infrastructure. It also focused on enhancing preventive and active safety based on electronic vehicle subsystem management and improved human-machine interaction (HMI). It also worked on developing integral passive safety devices.

The project was divided into initial analysis, system development, application and testing phases. Building on the seven main accident scenarios elaborated by the previous EU-funded APROSYS project, SIM defined a safety strategy and the specifications for a safety system based on the discovery that the majority of these accidents could have been avoided or their impact mitigated.

SIM developed an advanced antilock braking system and an electronic suspension system which were integrated into the final prototype. The prototype’s preventive safety system consisted of the IMB information management concept for motorbikes and enhanced HMI devices which, together, can keep the rider informed about the status of the vehicle and any critical conditions that may arise.

The project also developed a cooperative safety architecture consisting of a frontal airbag, an inflatable wearable device and an airbag control unit for firing the devices.

Final tests of the integrated active safety system demonstrated a significant improvement in safety levels through such means as increased vehicle manoeuvrability, reduction of stopping distances through the recognition of bad road conditions and more. The passive safety elements also scored well in tests and significantly reduced the most relevant injury criteria, such as whiplash.

This confirms that the SIM integrated safety system is a promising step on the path to greater motorbike road safety.

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