While cars and trucks have long had smart emergency systems to send help in the event of a crash (think services like OnStar), motorcycles have had to go without -- a scary thought if you've ever worried about wiping out miles away from help. That's where BMW might just save the day, though. It's introducing the first smart emergency tech for motorbikes, Intelligent Emergency Call, to give the two-wheel crowd a proper safety net. You can trigger it yourself, such as when you need to help a fellow motorist, but the real magic comes with its automatic responses.
IEC's acceleration and lean angle sensors can not only tell if your bike falls or crashes, but time the call for help based on severity. A bad accident will call for help immediately, for instance, while a gentler incident provides a delay so that you can cancel the call. If things are dire enough for that call to go out, it'll send your ride's position at the same time.
Don't expect to see this system in North America, at least not any time soon. IEC will first launch in Germany sometime in early 2017, and it'll spread to other European countries soon afterward. There's no mention of availability in other countries, unfortunately. However, you may well see equipment like this become widespread among bike makers eager to one-up the competition.
This article by Jon Fingas originally ran on Engadget, the definitive guide to this connected life.