New patent applications published by the US Patent and Trademark office reveal that Japanese motorcycle manufacturer Honda, is working on automatic emergency braking for motorcycles. The patents describe a system that would automatically apply brakes when a collision is detected.
Honda already has a similar system on some its cars, called the Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), but the application shows that Honda is working on similar technology for motorcycles.
On cars, the CMBS uses a combination of cameras and millimeter-wave radar to determine collision. The system is quite similar, but for motorcycles, that would detect potential frontal impact.
In a car, if the CMBS detects a potential crash, the driver will be warned first, and then brakes will be applied at various levels automatically. Although Honda says that the CMBS does not prevent collision, it gives the driver a better chance of avoiding such a situation.
For motorcycles, the system has to be tweaked, to prevent it from disrupting the rider, since motorcycles pose their own risk. When a potential crash is sensed, the system will first check to see if the rider has already started applying the brakes.
If yes, the system will provide additional braking pressure for the front and rear in the same ratio, so that the rider will feel natural. If the system has not detected the rider already braking, the system will first start with the rear brake to avoid the motorcycle nose-diving.
The system will calculate the friction coefficient of the road surface before determining the right pressure. If the wheel reaches the lock limit, the front brake is applied, till the system detects the motorcycle has come to a safe halt or the threat is no longer there. Smart!
The system is far from making an appearance on production motorcycles as of now, and if it does, it could be on the Honda CBR1000RR SP, pictured below.