As part of the U.S. Safety Pilot Model Deployment, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) will launch a motorcycle study to determine how cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles interact using V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications technology from Cohda Wireless.

UMTRI has partnered with two motorcycle manufacturers: Honda and BMW. Cohda Wireless provides the V2V connected vehicle equipment.

Two tasks will be conducted in the Safety Pilot Model Deployment Geographic Area as a proof of concept for incorporating motorcycles into the connected vehicle environment. The two tasks are motorcycle communications feasibility testing and motorcycle to vehicle performance testing.

The V2V connected vehicle equipment provided by Cohda for these motorcycles is based upon the RoadLINK™ chipset resulting from collaboration between Cohda Wireless and NXP Semiconductors. This automotive-grade, market-ready chipset consists of a software defined radio chip from NXP running connected vehicle firmware from Cohda with unmatched performance. NXP is providing the chipset including firmware in a one-stop shop to customers based on exclusive license with Cohda.

“Cohda Wireless is a proven leader in the development of connected vehicle technology. Cohda will add valuable technical expertise to the team to ensure project success,” said Assistant Program Manager Debby Bezzina, a Senior Program Manager at UMTRI.

Paul Gray, CEO of Cohda Wireless, noted it was extremely important that connected vehicle technology be extended to vulnerable road users such as motorcycle riders and pedestrians. “We are very proud to see our products being used in this important trial to improve the safety of car drivers and motorcycle riders alike.”

Connected vehicle technology extended to vulnerable road users

Analysis by the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows connected vehicle technology could potentially address approximately 80 per cent of the crash scenarios involving non-impaired drivers.

Furthermore, according to NHTSA data, motorcycle accidents represent five per cent of all highway fatalities, but 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in injury or death as compared to 20 percent for cars. This makes it vital that connected vehicle technology also addresses these vulnerable road users. Motorcycles have an important role in USDOT’s overall safety strategy.

Industry excitement grows as trials of vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) connected vehicle technologies expand throughout the world. As reported, this technology promises to significantly improve safety and mobility.

Onboard and roadside units from Cohda, Cisco and NXP have been tested to global standards in major field trials. One such trial is the Safety Pilot Model Deployment trial in Ann Arbor, Michigan managed by UMTRI for the USDOT.