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A few friends and I have been working on an idea to help prevent motorcycle rear collision accidents. We are building a device to help warn riders when a vehicle is approaching too quickly from behind, as well as help catch the approaching vehicle's attention when triggered and encourage them to slow down.
In a nutshell, it works like this. On the one hand, a mounted sensor on the back of the bike will detect when a vehicle is approaching to quickly, then notifying the rider via a warning light from the dash/gauge cluster powerful enough to be noticed without taking your eyes off the road. On the other hand, once the device is triggered, the emergency lights (or additional warning lights attached on the bike rear) will activate, helping to catch the approaching vehicle's attention and encourage them to slow down.

If you have an opinion on this, I'd be happy to hear it. Also, we're mostly concerned with getting your opinion on the idea in general - don't worry about the technical aspects as of yet.
 

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...................... We are building a device to help warn riders when a vehicle is approaching too quickly from behind,.................. and catch the approaching vehicle's attention...
Knee-jerk reactions:

-I have a set of ear-view mirrors on my bike. I should be using them!
-I have a throttle on my bike, that I can use if I need to get out of the way.
-You'd need a FLARE in some cases, to get the attention of someone
preoccupied and not paying attention!


-Soupy
 

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I don't think the idea is a bad one.
Anyone that has ridden for a while will attempt to position there bike so they have an escape route if needed.
Another issue is a distracted drive is most likely not going to see whatever warning device you may be able to legally put on a bike.
The reality is very few motorcycle accidents are caused by the rider being rear ended, now I don't know what the statistics are but that is what I have heard.
Another issue is some riders don't like a lot of ad on things on their bikes.
 

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I agree with Blaine and Soupy. Position yourself so you're not too close to the vehicle in front of you, check your mirrors, stay in gear and give yourself an out.

I think any system like you describe doesn't have enough time to warn the rider and activate and warn the approaching car with enough time for the driver to react and bring the car to a stop. It needs to quickly decide to activate the system and what if the the car was just approaching fast, like the driver had a leadfoot but was going to stop in time anyway? I could see in these instances the M/C rider will get false warnings and in time may not take the system's warnings seriously.
 

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I think it is a great idea. There will be challenges like preventing false activations because a car is moving to pass you on the road but those can be overcome.
 

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I think is a cool idea I know iv zoned out on a long road with no traffic on it and just crusing down the road taking in the sights and not paying attention and have a Carr come flying up on me... So I could see were this could be use full
 

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I would be curious how false alarms would be limited. One very bad driver change I've seen develop over the years is the increased number that wait till the last second to brake. I've pulled in between cars because of these idiots. I guess growing up when a brake failure could happen made a lot of us add the what if, and brake with plenty of room to spare. So how long will it take before you ignore that warning anyway?

It does seem like a good idea but not one I would get just to have it. If it came with a bike fine but I still wouldn't trade just to get it. Sorta like my intercom system. Got one but never use it. Would that be the ultimate fate of such a device?
 

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I think it is a good safety idea. Like when they added the third brake light in cars. Distraction in group riding , I understand , like the modulating headlight or break light. I have had situations where I feel such a device could help get tailgaters off my rear. If the cost is cheap enough I would purchase one. It would have to be easy to install as well. Cars passing me setting it off would not bother me cause it will let me know what is going on as well as get that cars attention too. Safety is what it is about and I'm for that.
 

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I agree with Soupy and Blaine also, it could be useful if it could determine between cars not stopping and cars just braking late, but I don't know how that's possible.
I'd really hate to see motorcycles in general to become like a modern car that all but eliminates the driver. How many riders want a bike that thinks for them?
 

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Anyone that has ridden for a while will attempt to position there bike so they have an escape route if needed.

I learned that in my BRC. To this day I rarely put the bike in neutral when I'm at a stop light when riding with heavy traffic.
 

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I think it is a great idea. There will be challenges like preventing false activations because a car is moving to pass you on the road but those can be overcome.
There are few computers better than the human brain. A helmet with a head's up display of a rear-facing camera would probably achieve the same result a whole lot cheaper than trying to put a rear-facing radar in and miles of code to try and avoid generating false warnings.

If you decide to pursue this I'd start by talking to the auto mfr's about their existing collision avoidance/auto braking systems and see if A) They could be licensed, modified and B) turned around facing rearward. You could save 5 years of writing code.

Chances are TRW, Delphi, Bosch or someone else is SUPPLYING these systems and would LOVE a chance to see a new market open up, perhaps even helping you prototype it.
 

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become like a modern car that all but eliminates the driver.
Other than automatic transmissions, cruise control, or Google self-driving cars, can you give some examples of how you see modern cars "all but eliminating the driver?"

I don't see modern cars doing ANYTHING more than 50 year old ones with regards to steering, braking, and accelerating.

ABS/CBS/Traction Control being possible exceptions....which remain inactive 99.99% of the time..... and these hardly "eliminate the driver," they just assume he/she is stupid and/or isn't likely to do the right thing in an emergency

I may resent that implication...but I probably also represent it, since I haven't been riding since I was 12 and don't HAVE correct instincts...

One study found a MAJORITY of drivers didn't press the brake pedal HARD ENOUGH in panic stop situations and allow the ABS prevent a skid that would cause loss of directional control == few used more than 50% of their vehicles available braking....

So do you truly see "modern cars all but eliminiating the driver" or do you merely resent the mfr's assumptions that "Our technology is smarter than your riding skills..." because you're a highly skilled rider?
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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It seems like a good idea but like others have said, thats why we have rearview mirrors. It also seems to me these types of safety features might tend to give us a false sense of security, causing us to drop our guard. Unfortunately we're not protected in the shell of a car, so we have to put our safety in our own hands. We all need to ride like everyone is out to kill us. Because inadvertently or not, they are.
 

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I'm with Blaine. You're watching the trafic light, you're watching trafic, and only one of the things is you check your rear view mirrors every couple of seconds. Three seconds can make the difference when someone is rearending you. I think a beeper going off as a warning would be helpful. You could connect the beeper to a small missile in the rear of your bike, pointing backwards.
 

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"You could connect the beeper to a small missile in the rear of your bike, pointing backwards."

:71baldboy:

Or a shotgun maybe?
I've said many times, it should be legal to defend yourself on a bike.:biggrin:
 
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