72 months ago

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Bosch plans to stop motorcycles crashes using jet thrusters

Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Jet thrusters for motorcycle safety - who would have thought?

Jet thrusters for motorcycle safety - who would have thought?

What is the next crazy tech that will come our way to keep us safer as we explore the world on two wheels? Now, we have a glimpse as to what that might be, as Bosch is looking into the use of jet thrusters.

When leaning into a corner and midway, you lose traction due to gravel or oil or whatever other nasties our roads throw at us, the most likely outcome is a low-side (if you are lucky).

Modern motorcycles prevent this using smart traction control systems that modulate the controls of the machine (mostly altering ignition timing, skipping fuel injection to specific cylinders or directly modulating the throttle bodies) at a very precise margin and regain traction in a controlled manner.

Traction control can help, but not always

While they are excellent pieces of technology, they are inherently limited by the same laws of physics that limit the ability of a skilled rider to bring it back in line. Reactive in nature, we rely on the natural tendency of a motorcycle to correct itself and aren’t as foolproof as we would like them to be. This is where Bosch’s new technology comes in to save the day. They are proposing the use of jet thruster (the same kind used to steer space crafts) to force the motorcycle to back in line. The system works by monitoring the current level of traction and when it senses a slide, discharges a gas charge from an accumulator via nozzles on the sides of the machine, creating an opposing force that will stabilize the motorcycle and recover from the slide.

The system literally pushes the bike out of a slide

Unlike existing TCS implementations, here a direct force is applied on the motorcycle to stabilize it, versus modulating the controls to allow the motorcycle to recover itself.

Bosch - Jet thrusters to recover from motorcycle slides

But it too comes with its negative, as the tech is bound to be very expensive and would most likely be a one time use kind of aid (very much like airbags). Expect the tech to show up on top-of-the-line machines and will be a long time before it is accessible to a majority of the motorcycling community. Also, unlike TCS or ABS, a malfunction of this system can directly cause an accident, which will mean that Bosch will be extra diligent in making sure the tech is ready for prime time before unleashing it to the general public.

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71 months ago

Not very realistic. perhaps a spring bar of sorts to bounce you back? let's be honest, who could afford this just for the sake of staying safe? all though I drive a Harley and pretty much tip it to the ground, never laid the bike down before.


71 months ago

@marina Crazy would be an understatement, rockets on bikes. I can't wait. 😉


72 months ago

This is a bit crazy.