‘Don’t forget the bikers!’ the AMA reminds the U.S. Department of Transportation with newly proposed plans around vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology. These advancements could bring a new level of safety to motorcycle enthusiasts.
The initiative would advance the deployment of connected vehicle technologies throughout the nation’s light-vehicle fleet. The goal, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication technology on all new light-duty vehicles, enabling new crash-avoidance applications that, once fully deployed, could prevent hundreds of thousands of crashes every year by helping vehicles “talk” to each other.
While this technology will benefit all road users, the AMA is demanding motorcyclists are included in the discussion, planning and implementation of the policies and regulations governing the rollout.
“We have been representing the interests of the motorcycling community since Day 1 on this issue,” said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president of government relations. “We certainly recognize and appreciate the potential for improved safety as vehicles communicate while in operation. But we want to ensure that the detection and response sensors and software can detect motorcyclists and respond appropriately.”
Founded in 1924, the AMA is a not-for-profit member-based association whose mission is to promote the motorcycle lifestyle and protect the future of motorcycling. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights and event sanctioning organization, the AMA advocates for riders’ interests at all levels of government and sanctions thousands of competition and recreational events every year.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s proposed rule, issued today, would require automakers to include V2V technologies in all new light-duty vehicles, which are passenger cars and some pickup trucks. The rule proposes requiring V2V devices to “speak the same language” through standardized messaging developed with industry.
“Advanced vehicle technologies may well prove to be the silver bullet in saving lives on our roadways,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Mark Rosekind. “V2V and automated vehicle technologies each hold great potential to make our roads safer, and when combined, their potential is untold.”
In addition, the Federal Highway Administration plans to issue guidance for Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) communications, which the DOT says will help transportation planners integrate the technologies to allow vehicles to “talk” to roadway infrastructure such as traffic lights, stop signs and work zones to improve mobility, reduce congestion and improve safety.
“This new technology could help motorcyclists immensely by alerting drivers of a rider’s presence as they prepare to make a left turn or approach a motorcycle from the rear,” Allard said. “The AMA has submitted comments to the DOT and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since this technology first came to light. And we plan to work with the current administration, the incoming administration and Congress on these issues.”
Among the motorcyclists’ concerns:
- Software and sensors must be designed to recognize motorcycles and respond appropriately.
- Personal privacy must be protected.
- The communications systems implemented, whether Wi-Fi or another technology, must be secure from hackers.
- The vehicle operator should have the option to turn off the signal to prevent unwanted tracking.
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