Motorcycles are dangerous by nature. No amount of protective gear or training can fully protect a rider from a distracted driver or swerving semi. While other types of vehicles are regularly upgraded with new technology and features to make the roads safer, motorcycle manufacturers have lagged behind in this area.
As recently reported by Ride Apart, one manufacturer thinks lasers could help the industry make progress in addressing rider safety and crash prevention. Sketches included in a patent filing by Suzuki reveal the makings of a laser-based collision avoidance and warning system.
According to the materials, the 360-degree system would feature sensors to monitor the rider’s lean angle, acceleration, and surroundings. Bright laser projectors would place a box on the road around the motorcycle, tightening up at low speeds and expanding as speed increased.
The laser box would alert approaching drivers to the presence of the motorcycle and help them practice a safe following distance. Vehicles drifting near motorcycles equipped with the technology would be warned with a blinking laser, signaling them to back off. A giant red X would appear if the vehicle got too close for comfort.
Less dynamic aftermarket concepts are sometimes used by bicyclists to help catch the eye of approaching motorists, but these types of devices still rely on the driver’s eyes being on the road to notice the lasers in the first place.
The development of motorcycle-to-vehicle communications systems offer a promising potential solution, but widespread adoption by both the motorcycle and auto industries would be required for the technology to be effective.
Would a laser system like the one dreamed up by Suzuki catch the eye of other motorists or be overlooked by distracted drivers? Share your thoughts or concerns in the comments.