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Enhanced safety and more infotainment for powered two-wheelers was Bosch’s formula for success at the CES 2017 Innovation Awards. On November 10, 2016, the judges honored the company’s motorcycle systems with a total of three awards. A rider information system that replaces a traditional instrument cluster with a display impressed the judges twice, becoming a winner in the In-Vehicle Audio/Video category and an honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category. In addition to that, a connected safety solution for small motorcycles and scooters made it to the winner’s podium – it too was declared an honoree in the Vehicle Intelligence category. “With its dedicated connectivity solutions, Bosch makes motorcycles safer and more convenient,” says Manfred Baden, President of the Car Multimedia division at Robert Bosch GmbH.

Infotainment on the vehicle display

The rider information system, known as the Integrated connectivity cluster, combines all the motorcycle’s instrumentation on a single display and makes it possible for riders to use their smartphone. The advantage of this is that the system automatically adapts the display to current usage. That means the rider is shown only the information needed at that particular moment. This in turn reduces distraction, thus enhancing safety. So, for example, at high speeds, all the display information elements with the exception of the speed indicator and warning notifications are gradually hidden. The display is easy to read in all weather conditions. Even in direct sunlight, the colors are distinct and the contrast is very high; and in the dark the display does not dazzle the rider. What is more, it endures even the harshest weather conditions, like rain and hail.

Regardless of whether the user wants to select some music or answer a call, it is possible to operate all the main smartphone functions using a handlebar remote control during the ride without ever having to handle the device directly. After one-time initial pairing, the system connects immediately via Bluetooth to the smartphone and helmet headset.

Enhanced safety saves lives

The connected safety solution, known as the Lean connectivity unit, connects the smartphone to small motorcycles or scooters via Bluetooth. The product was developed in India with a clear focus on the needs of users in the Asia/Pacific region. After all, braking control systems for powered two-wheelers, like ABS and MSC, are still only a rarity there. And so, the number of road traffic fatalities among riders of powered two-wheelers continues to rise. Analyses of accidents in Indonesia and Thailand have shown, for instance, that approximately 21,000 people die in motorcycle accidents in these two countries every year. India will for this reason make ABS a legal requirement for all new motorcycle types from 2018 and will be one of the first newly industrialized countries to take this step.

The main components of the Lean connectivity unit are a handlebar remote control, a box for establishing the connection to the smartphone, and an app. If the driver has fallen off the motorcycle or scooter, the app automatically sends a text message containing the coordinates of the accident to a predefined emergency contact. In situations in which the rider feels unsafe, the handlebar remote control can be used to send an emergency call. In this case too, a previously defined emergency contact is alerted via a text message. In contrast to the fall notification, the emergency call transmits the vehicle’s position at regular intervals. The Lean connectivity unit also allows users to unlock the vehicle via their mobile phone. Using the corresponding app, the owner can furthermore share a smartphone “key” and so, for instance, allow other family members to use the vehicle too. Telephone functions are an option as well, allowing the user, for example, to set the Lean connectivity unit to reject calls automatically when the vehicle is moving.