Bologna, Italy – In a utopian future it's forseen that technology will either eliminate road deaths altogether or greatly reduce the number of collisions taking place on the world's roads.
That future came a step closer with Ducati and Audi this week demonstrating their new vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication system, which supports data-sharing between motorcycles, cars, pedestrians, bicycles and infrastructure. The idea is that if you see it in time, you won't hit it, and V2X is seen as a key enabler for autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles that are fitted with collision-avoidance technology such as automatic emergency braking or swerving.
The system aims to prevent vehicles from crashing into each other or the surrounding infrastructure by giving them digital 'eyes' on the surroundings, spotting potential hazards before the human driver, rider or cyclist is even aware of them - and then either warning the human of the hazard and, if they don't react in time, employing the car's anti-collision measures.
Ducati and its parent company Audi held a demonstration in Bologna that featured an Audi car and a Ducati Multistrada motorcycle equipped with C-V2X technology, showcasing common situations that can take place between motorcycles and vehicles.
Some of the benefits of C-V2X tech include Intersection Collision Warning, where a vehicle equipped with C-V2X pulls out from a junction and avoids hitting a motorcycle rider who has the right of way; as well as Across Traffic Turn Collision Risk Warning, in which the car avoids a left turn collision with a motorcycle.
Pierluigi Zampieri, Vehicle Innovation Manager at Ducati Motor Holding says: “This is the perfect demonstration of use cases in which modern technologies can drastically improve the safety of future motorcycle users. C-V2X communication is definitely one of the key projects of the Ducati 2025 safety road map”.
The first steps in this strategy are the extension of the ABS Cornering feature to the entire Ducati range and the introduction of a bike with front and rear radar on the market in 2020. ABS Cornering, which is becoming more common on premium motorcycles, ensures that even when the rider applies hard braking to the front wheel when leaning into a corner, the pressure sent to the front brakes doesn’t exceed a threshold that would cause the front wheel to lose traction and cause the bike to crash.
The demonstration was the first of the ConVeX (Connected Vehicle to Everything) project involving Audi, Ducati, Ericsson, SWARCO, the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, and Qualcomm CDMA Technologies GmbH.