Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Unintelligent Intelligence?

The DfT have released their latest report on ITS. That's 'Intelligent Traffic Systems'. Or automatic speed limiters (probably).

Details here

And earlier 'external speed control' here

Motorcycle-specific here


Adapting ISA to a motorcycle environment is a challenging proposition both in terms of the need to minimise weight and system volume and because of the requirement to consider the very different vehicle dynamics of a motorcycle. An ISA motorcycle demonstration platform has been realised that has offered a safe and effective vehicle demonstrator to enable proof-of-concept assessment trials. A trial site, format and rider selection process was defined to enable an evaluation exercise to be performed safely. A group of experienced motorcycle users was selected for an initial assessment trial in which pre/post attitudes and rider characteristics were evaluated and riding behaviour data was collected.

In terms of attitudes, perceptions of usefulness increased after experience of the ISA functionality in comparison to opinions expressed before exposure to ISA. However, satisfaction ratings were more varied with the Assisting ISA systems being judged significantly less satisfactory than the Advisory ISA or the Information system. Attitudes regarding the impact of ISA on riding indicated negative perceptions to “Joy”, “Overtaking” and “Accident Risk”. However, a positive perception to “Traffic safety” suggests that ISA has aspects that counterbalance these negative responses.

Overall, this ISA motorcycle trial has identified that there is a possible disjuncture between on the one hand the technical possibilities with concepts such as ISA and on the other hand the perceptions and attitudes of the current users of motorcycles. This may be because little emphasis has been placed upon how new assistive technologies pioneered in the passenger car and commercial field may migrate into the motorcycle sector and have an impact upon the perceived and actual safety, efficiency and marketability of motorcycles. It may also be influenced by the perceptions of motorcycle users with regard to the advantages or positive features of these vehicles, where the “freedom” and “independence” aspects of riding are valued highly by users and advisory and/or assisting technologies are perceived to be negative factors.

The BMF (and MAG too, probably) have been concerned for some time about effect of ITS on motorcycle safety

BMF paper

What is the BMF's policy on ISA?

"We will not accept any ITS [intelligent transport system] which takes control from the rider, such as Intelligent Speed Adaptation, without incontrovertible proof that it will not destabilise single track vehicles under any circumstances and that it will provide road safety benefits." As none of the systems developed so far appear to meet this criteria, we remain opposed.


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