A worldwide program to find, encourage, test and develop innovative technology that will improve motorcycle road safety is being launched.
The Motorcycle Technology Evaluation Challenge (MotoTEC) program is being developed by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute with $US400,000 from Australian company Transurban which operates toll roads both here and in the USA.
A joint press release says MotoTEC seeks to “implement rider-centric research to identify and advance potential new technologies to address the safety and usability needs of riders on the road and around construction work zones”.
The MotorTEC program, to be launched at Virginia Tech’s Research Center in Arlington on August 7, will be conducted in cooperation with motorcycle industry stakeholders.
The MotoTEC press release says Virginia Tech and Transurban recognise the “great need for new research and technology that addresses rider safety”.
“MotoTEC is inviting technology vendors with market or near-market ready motorcycle technologies to submit their innovations and products to a steering committee comprised of stakeholders from across the motorcycle industry and transportation domain to evaluate the product’s ability to create a better and safer riding experience for motorcyclists,” it says.
The release suggests products such as improved sensors and vehicle-to-vehicle communication which are already being developed by companies such as Bosch, KTM, Audi, Honda, BMW and Ducati.
A steering committee will evaluate these innovative solutions and select a final candidate to undergo further study.
“This challenge will provide participants the opportunity to present their technologies and/or solutions at no cost,” the MotoTEC website says.
The successful vendor will receive access to a “well-established network of prominent committee members who help to shape the motorcycle industry” and access to the research capabilities and network of “the largest group of driving safety researchers in the world”.
In 2005 their comprehensive “Naturalistic Driving Study” showed that excessive speed was a cause in just 7% of ‘adverse incidents’ but almost 80% incidents involved driver inattention just three seconds before a crash.