Suzuki patents radar reflector

Suzuki Motorcycle patent radar reflector

Suzuki Motorcycles have developed a radar reflector, not to detect or jam a police speed radar, but to make motorcycles easier for hi-tech cars to detect them.

In fact, the radar reflector could make motorcycles easier for police to detect with radar guns!

Suzuki have filed a patent in Japan for the radar reflector.

There is no word yet from Suzuki about whether they will make or fit the reflectors to their motorcycles.

The reflectors would react with various automotive collision avoidance systems such as blind spot alert, as well as the coming wave of autonomous vehicles.

Suzuki patents radar reflector
Drawing from Suzuki’s patent application

Radar reflector

The Suzuki patent might help address the valid concern that autonomous vehicles and various collision avoidance systems have difficulty detecting vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.

While cyclists and pedestrians may not be able to carry radar reflectors, they could easily be included on a motorcycle.

But it’s yet another piece of technology that creates extra expense and puts the emphasis on motorists trusting technology rather than their own crash-avoidance skills.

BMW, KTM and Ducati are also working on various systems that communicate with other vehicles on the road to provide crash avoidance alerts.

Bosch radar warns riders of traffic autonomous 5g reflector
Bosch radar warns riders of traffic

This is a first step toward motorcycles that take over from the rider in emergency situations such as automatic emergency braking.

And once the systems are developed, the next step is for legislators to make them mandatory.

  1. If the motorcycle specific radar reflector is in any way similar to the ones frequently used in marine applications, then it is a passive system that just reflects radar waves and does not interfere at all with the rider´s decisions. In fact I am looking for something like this now, knowing that here in Europe legislators are working on regulations to make autonomous driving up to 130km/h (81mph) legal and as I had several cars fail with their own autonomous aids, I really want to have a reflector like that on my bike.

  2. If new technology can make Motorcyclists be seen by either the driver or to the systems in cars & trucks it must equate to less motorcyclists being injured or killed then I’m all for it.

  3. If the car’s systems cannot detect a vulnerable road user, then the car’s systems are not good enough.
    And, the driver must continue to pay attention (but I support better car systems also, because drivers are fallible).
    We’re not going to be able to ask all pedestrians to wear tinfoil hats, just so they show up on a second-rate radar system.
    One would suspect that a motorcycle has a sufficient radar signature to show up on any decent detection system, anyhow.

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