BMW Motorrad announced its latest innovations at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on 6-9 January 2016. Among the items was a particular favourite of ours; a smart helmet.
The display options comprise safety-relevant information, for instance data relating to the technical status of the motorcycle, such as tyre pressure, oil level and fuel level, travel speed and selected gear, speed limit and road sign recognition, plus warnings of impending dangers.
By means of the future V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication, it might also be possible to display information in real time, for example to give due warning of any suddenly impending hazards.
Moreover, the head-up display also allows the visualisation of content designed to increase rider comfort. An example would be the planned route along with navigation advice prior to commencing a journey.
An action camera pointing forwards, located inside the helmet, can record video footage of the journey directly from the helmet. A second camera oriented towards the rear could at some point in the future perform the function of a ‘digital rear-view mirror’. And last but not least, this technology also enables the visualisation of other riders in a motorcycle group. This enables the rider to see where his companions are at any given moment.
The helmet, which is also fitted with an integrated mini-computer and loudspeakers, is controlled from the left-hand handlebar multi-controller. As well as operating the camera, this allows the rider to comfortably select the information he requires.
The necessary information display technology can be integrated in existing helmets, without affecting either wearer comfort or rider safety. The operating time of the system with the two replaceable batteries is around five hours.
BMW wants to develop this innovative technology to series-production level within the next few years. We can’t wait!