New tech: Emergency call system by Bosch aims to halve ambulance response times

Could this tech be a new guardian angel for bikers?
Could this tech be a new guardian angel for bikers?
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Bosch have created a new emergency call system that could save thousands of lives a year.

Called Help Connect, the system uses a bike’s existing Intertial Measurement Unit (IMU) to detect when a crash has taken place before issuing a request for help. To make the software work, Bosch had to begin by simulating accidents.

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To collect the data from a bike’s IMU, Bosch crashed 18 motorcycles and measured the data. The IMU gathers information around 100 times per second, measuring acceleration (or deceleration) in six planes as well as angular velocity, which is how fast the angular position of an object changes with time.

Bosch crashed 18 motorcycles to collect data

By doing this, Bosch had enough data to create an algorithm that can detect when a crash has taken place, so the bike wouldn’t alert the emergency services if it fell off the stand for instance.

When the bike detects a crash has taken place, it transmits information about the accident scene and the rider to the Bosch Service Centre via an app on a smartphone. Using a smartphone app means no additional controller is required on the bike, making it a relatively easy installation. It also means that as most people carry their phones on their body, if the rider is flung from the bike then locating them should be easier.

Once the message has been sent to Bosch, they attempt to contact the rider and if they’re unresponsive then Bosch controllers contact the emergency services. The company said they took on this work to save lives as the risk of being killed in an accident is still 20 times higher for a motorcyclist than for a car driver. It’s been proven that the quicker a motorcyclist receives help, the greater their chances of survival are, so Bosch wanted to work out a way to speed that up.

With this technology, Bosch say ambulance response times are virtually halved.

"Help Connect adds a digital guardian angel to the broad Bosch portfolio of motorcycle safety systems," says Bosch board member Harald Kroeger.

For now, the service is only being launched in Germany as a test, although it will work for users across Europe. Assuming a successful launch, it will then be rolled out more widely. BMW already offer a system fitted to their bikes while other firms have systems that are operated by a cord which pulls a pin if you come off the bike.

Bosch accident detection system

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.