Most new cars sold today have the option to subscribe to emergency response services. The best-known example is General Motors' connected OnStar service, which has the ability to automatically call authorities when it detects a vehicle has been in an accident. Now Bosch wants to bring that same technology to motorcycles.
Bosch describes its new service Help Connect as a "digital guardian angel" and went so far as to render imaginary ghost riders following a motorcycle, as seen in the second image above. This is made possible by the motorcycle connecting to a Bosch smartphone app through Bluetooth.
A call is automatically initiated when a crash algorithm programmed into the motorcycle's inertial sensor unit detects the rider has gone through some sort of unexpected disturbance, whether that's putting the bike down, getting hit or hitting something. This sensor reportedly measures acceleration and angular velocity approximately 100 times per second, and it's smart enough to know not to call 911 when a bike simply falls over in a parking lot. Help Connect sends info about the accident scene and the rider to the Bosch Service Center, and subsequently to local emergency services. The phone's GPS allows responders to locate the rider, even if no one answer when the emergency workers call. It can also be programmed to call personal emergency contacts.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are roughly 28 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than passenger car occupants. This makes the importance of response time to motorcycle accidents even greater, and Bosch says automatic emergency systems such as Help Connect can cut response time by up to half. The technology will initially launch in Germany and will expand to other markets at a later time.