Visionary new Wing screen: Honda noise and visibility sensors alter wind protection automatically

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Honda are dialling rider comfort up to 11 with their next-gen Gold Wing touring bike, which looks set to gain an auto-adjusting windscreen that uses clever sensors to make sure it’s always in the perfect position.

Revealed in a patent application, the system doesn’t just make for a relaxing, hassle-free riding experience, but is instead tied into a wider voice operation system for other functions on the bike.

Voice-control means it’s vital that wind noise is kept to a minimum to ensure that the bike registers and carries out rider commands.

Honda Gold Wing self adjusting screen tech drawing

Electric windscreens are, of course, nothing new, but the Honda Gold Wing was actually a relative late adopter of the tech. Before the current-shape Wing was introduced for 2018, Honda’s tourer sported a tall, fixed screen.

To catch up, the 2018-on bike has carried a screen that automatically drops to its lowest level when the bike is turned off and returns to its previous setting when you get moving. However, the future version shown in the new patent is even cleverer still.

The height-adjustment system is the same as the current model, using electric actuators to shift the screen up or down, and as on the current bike this can be done via rider controls. However, Honda have recognised that a screen’s ideal height can alter depending on speed and weather conditions.

Honda Gold Wing self adjusting screen tech

For this reason, the system includes the usual height actuators, but also a computer, a microphone, and a set of cameras, all in pursuit of keeping the windscreen in just the right position at all times.

The microphone is mounted on the rider’s helmet, part of a system that also allows for phone calls and voice control of several of the bike’s systems, including its navigation. For the automatic screen height, the microphone is also used to monitor wind noise – not only because noise is uncomfortable for the rider, but also because it interferes with the voice-recognition system.

When the bike’s speed increases and the wind noise passes a predetermined threshold, the control unit tells the screen to start moving upwards, following a pre-programmed pattern of adjustment to reduce wind noise and buffeting to a minimum.

Honda Gold Wing self adjusting screen tech on board

Of course, this could cause problems of its own if the screen stops in a position where its edge is right in the rider’s eyeline – so Honda have added an extra element to prevent that from happening.

A pair of cameras, one of top of each mirror, look back at the rider and feed images to the computer, which recognises the rider’s eye position and height. From there, it can work out an area where the edge of the screen would be in a distracting position, and the auto-adjustment system will move the screen past that point, ensuring it only stops when it’s either higher or lower than the rider’s eyeline. The computer also contains a database of rider preferences, so you can choose to prioritise visibility or wind protection.

Honda’s self-adjusting screen in detail

  • Going up: When speed and wind noise increases, the ECU can tell the screen to raise, reducing buffeting and noise.
  • Perfect setting: Programmed maps for screen position are included in the system, allowing the rider to prioritise visibility or noise reduction at the touch of a button on the bars.
  • No buffeting: The electromechanical screen alters both its height and angle to counter wind buffeting and noise.
  • The eyes have it: Cameras mounted on top of the wing mirrors register the rider’s eye height, using it to work out their line of vision and telling the computer not to stop the screen so its edge is in that sightline.
  • Noise detection: The microphone on the rider’s helmet picks up wind noise as well as voice audio, sending information to the windscreen control ECU.