Bosch Launches eCall for Bikers

Bosch claims to have developed a emergency alert system for motorcyclists that mimics the eCall service installed in all new European cars.

The automotive supplies giant points out that the risk of being killed in a crash is still 20 times higher for motorcyclists than for car drivers with corresponding higher risk of serious injury. The digitally connected emergency call system uses an intelligent crash algorithm installed in the vehicle’s inertial sensor unit to detect accidents.

Operating through a smartphone app, its Help Connect transmits information about the accident scene and the rider to the Bosch Service Center, and from there to the emergency services, helping them find the victim more quickly. Bosch claims an automatic message of this sort can cut the time it takes for emergency services to arrive on the scene by up to half.

Technical details

The system draws on information from the Bosch MSC motorcycle stability control and, more specifically, its inertial sensor unit. One hundred times a second, this integrated sensor measures acceleration and angular velocity, i.e. how fast the angular position of an object changes with time. The sensor can, therefore, calculate the motorcycle’s current position and angle of lean.

Moreover, the integrated crash algorithm enables the sensor to detect automatically whether the motorcycle has been involved in an accident, or whether a mishap has caused it to fall over when being parked. It does not require an additional control unit, which makes integrating it into the motorcycle more straightforward. It connects to Bosch’s Vivatar emergency app via Bluetooth. Other smartphone apps, such as motorcycle manufacturers’ proprietary apps, can also be integrated into the emergency call solution.

On top of information about location, Help Connect also transmits any medical data provided by the rider to the Bosch Service Center. These data may prove vital for the emergency services. On request, other people may also be automatically contacted with news of the accident.

“Help Connect adds a digital guardian angel to the broad Bosch portfolio of motorcycle safety systems,” says Harald Kroeger from the Bosch board of management. “Before we develop products that increase safety for motorcyclists, we need to understand the critical situations they face.” The emergency call service will initially be available for customers from Germany.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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