KTM scores points in battle to be collision avoidance ‘TechMeisters’
KTM says it has “demonstrated its commitment to improving safety for motorcyclists and reducing accidents” as the first motorcycle manufacturer to demonstrate Adaptive Cruise Control and Blind Spot Detection systems.
Still in the development process, both of these features use sensor-based technology to help detect and prevent a collision from the front or rear. The prototype systems were unveiled on a modified KTM 1290 Super Adventure S to a select group of media before being live demonstrated at the ÖAMTC driving technique centre in Marchtrenk, Austria, on May 2.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is not designed as an emergency brake system but works when the machine is in cruise control above a designated speed. The system can detect a vehicle in front, ranging from the size of a motorcycle and above, and then locks on to maintain a distance of two seconds by automatic throttle control and – if needed – gentle application of the front brake.
The finalised packaging of the system is still in development along with adding the ability for the rider to customise the operational distance and speed. When fully developed, it is expected that ACC will be able to respond faster than any rider in such a given situation.
The ‘blind spot’ on a bike is usually checked by a long, rearward look, which can be dangerous in heavy traffic situations. Blind Spot Detection (BSD) adds another set of eyes in such demanding riding conditions or during a particularly long ride. BSD uses a short distance radar to ACC to alert the rider to the potential of an undetected rear collision – such as when changing lanes – by way of a visual warning on the TFT display, as well as with illuminating superbright LEDs integrated within the rearview mirror glass, also boosted by an audible signal.
These game-changing features will be part of new electronics packages offered on certain KTM models, beginning from Model Year 2021. This technology will also create provision for other sensor-based systems further in the future, already in development.
After personally demonstrating the effectiveness of these systems to the journalists by riding the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S without his right arm and leg on the machine’s controls, Gerald Matschl, Vice President for KTM Research & Development, said: “As a company, KTM is committed to improving rider safety and also to reduce accidents. We have a lot more development and many thousands of kilometres to test these systems in the real world before we can implement them on series production bikes, but they are coming in the near future, and we are sure they will make a difference.”
KTM PR Manager (Street), Luke Brackenbury said: “When it comes to KTM applying electronic rider aids to its sportmotorcycles, it has always been the same approach to offer features that help riders control their bikes without losing the joy of riding. Improving safety for motorcyclists is part of our responsibility as a manufacturer, and KTM has demonstrated this in the past as the first company to offer two-channel ABS as standard on a 125 cc machine with the KTM 125 Duke in 2014 in the same year as introducing the pioneering cornering-ABS function. With ACC and BSD, we hope to make motorcycling safer still.”
As a motorcycle technology leader, KTM currently offers a wide range of leading electronic rider aids across most of its 2018 Street range. The goal of such systems is to either help improve rider safety or add to the enjoyment of riding.
Lean angle-sensitive systems can be found on the new KTM 790 Duke and all of the 1290-powered machines, which includes Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) with the revolutionary cornering ABS function, along with Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) and multi-stage traction control. On some models, semi-active suspension is offered along with Hill Hold Control (HHC), Automatic Turn Indicator Reset (ATIR), Quickshifter+ and cornering LED headlights.