Motorcycle accidents are one of the world’s leading causes of unnatural deaths, accounting for nearly one-quarter of 1.25 million traffic fatalities worldwide every year.
A new bike-to-vehicle (B2V) wireless communication technology from Israel’s Autotalks is designed to turn the corner on that grim statistic.
“A considerable proportion of the drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle claimed that they did not even see the motorcycle approaching,” says Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks.
“Motorcycles are characterized by their relatively small size, high speed and maneuverability, which make it difficult to identify them and predict their movements. B2V will enhance motorcyclists’ safety,” he says.
“Autotalks’ B2V solution enables detection of motorcycles that are not visible to the human eye or cameras of any sort.”
The B2V unit uses DSRC (dedicated short-range communications) to enable cars and motorcycles to exchange data such as speed, direction of travel, location and braking mode while they are in motion, regardless of weather or visibility.
Based on that automatically exchanged data, the device predicts in milliseconds what will happen in the next five to 10 seconds, allowing enough time for a course correction, explains Zyss.
He envisions B2V as an embedded or retrofitted feature in all motorized bicycles and automobiles of the future, including self-driving cars.
“It’s a simple, reliable sensor that would reduce accidents between bikes and vehicles and also between vehicles,” Zyss tells ISRAEL21c. “We hope it will become a commodity technology like seatbelts.”
Both the United States and European countries are increasingly moving toward regulations obligating original equipment manufacturers to embed collision-avoidance technologies in vehicles and motorized cycles. Already, vehicles from most automakers are outfitted with computer-vision technology pioneered at Israel’s Mobileye.
“We have projects with large automakers in Europe and a project with Denso, a global automotive components manufacturer in Japan, which will go into production in 2019,” says Zyss.
Development by Bosch
Germany-based Bosch, a global supplier of technology and services, is running a development study that incorporates Autotalks’ B2V technology alongside Ducati motorcycles and Cohda Wireless’ software stack.
Bosch research indicates that B2V technology could prevent nearly a third of all powered two-wheeler accidents with casualties in Germany, where automakers have indicated an interest in purchasing B2V chipsets from local suppliers.
The situation is similar in other Western countries. A 2013 study conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that motorcyclists have a 26-fold higher risk of death than those who drive other vehicles.
Zyss says that Autotalks’ “small, smart unit” is simple to integrate, consumes little power, operates in a wide temperature range and is highly resistant to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of motorcycles, e-bikes and other motorized two-wheelers.
B2V is based on the B2X (bike-to-everything) chipset developed earlier by the Israeli company, which specializes in V2X (vehicle-to-everything) secure wireless communication solutions that do not depend on human sight or hearing.
“V2X has to be cybersecure, just like a bank transaction,” says Zyss. “The message has to be authenticated and verified that it’s not hacked.”
Headquartered in Kfar Netter, Autotalks was founded in 2008 and currently employs about 65 people. Recently, Autotalks raised $40 million in a Series D financing round to expand its operations worldwide, which brings and investments in the company to $80 million.
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