According to American website Motorcycle.com, Harley-Davidson has filed for a patent regarding brake systems for their motorcycles. In this case, the big news is that Harley is working on an autonomous braking system!
Emergency braking systems on cars aren’t new, they’ve been around for years now, and car manufacturers have developed fairly efficient systems that really help car drivers to get to their destinations without problems.
But in case of motorcycles, an autonomous, or emergency brake system is a bit more complicated to create.
If we think about it for a minute, a sudden brake on a motorcycle is highly dangerous. The transfer of masses on a two-wheeled vehicle might cause the rider to lose control, and in the worst-case scenario, the rider might even crash.
But Harley-Davidson may have found a way to make this autonomous brake system to work, by using a radar, or LIDAR, as well as many cameras that record what’s going on around the motorcycle. Using the data collected by sensors and the cameras, a processor would apply the brakes if deemed necessary, and at the same time use the clutch and cut the accelerator.
But won’t that be dangerous?
In normal circumstances it would be, yes, but Harley’s system uses far more sensors in order the system can control if the rider is prepared for the emergency braking.
These sensors would be located on the seat, handlebars, on the bike dashboard and even on the rider helmet. The dashboard and helmet sensors would be the most important ones, since they will be able to recognize, through cognitive functions, if the rider is alert or not.
If the system senses the rider isn’t paying attention to what’s in front of him, it will send acoustic signals or even vibrations to the rider, and in case that doesn’t work, Harley-Davidson autonomous brake system will then apply a smooth pressure on the brakes so that the rider senses the difference in weight distribution.
If all that doesn’t work, and the rider still doesn’t change his attitude, the system will then use more pressure on the brakes so that the bike stops before impact.
Harley-Davidson also knows that sometimes the best way to avoid an impact isn’t just a full brake action. In those cases, and if the system sees that the rider is in control of the situation, the autonomous brake system disconnects so that the rider may ride the bike exactly where he wants, being able to avoid impact.
Will this autonomous brake system ever be available on street legal Harley-Davidson motorcycles? At the moment, that’s impossible to say, but just the fact that the American is working on something like this, makes us believe that we might be seeing the big Touring models from H-D getting this safety feature.