WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
BELLINGHAM, WA USA
SixthSense is an exploration in applying the latest transportation safety technologies into motorcycles. This project is my senior thesis from WWU and started with an open ended prompt: act like an entrepreneur and design something that matters. The concept is an augmented motorcycle windscreen embedded with 3 main safety features to protect riders.
Artificial Intelligence meets motorcycle safety.
Forward hazard recognition.
This is your extra set of eyes on the road. Using a forward facing high definition camera paired with an object recognition processor, threats can be detected based off of their position and velocity relative to yours. These threat warnings are communicated to the rider with an alert that directs their attention forward allowing more time to react. One second can be all it takes to turn a deadly accident into a close call.
Blind spot detection.
It's been on cars since 2007 - why not motorcycles? Knowing whether or not the lanes next to you are clear, without shoulder checking, can give you more time to react and avoid forward hazard. It also prepares you for otherwise unexpected overtakings. The blind spot detection and forward hazard recognition systems work in tandem to give the rider an improved 360˚ situational awareness.
The simplest and perhaps most important safety feature. 3 out of 4 motorcycle accidents are caused by other drivers violating the riders right-of-way. This is due to a few psychological reasons - most drivers are trained to watch for larger moving objects such as cars and trucks, not motorcycles. The small profile of a motorcycle also makes it harder to evaluate speed. Oncoming motorcycles appear to be traveling slower than oncoming cars traveling at the same speed, which causes some drivers to make lane-crossing turns when they shouldn't have. Adding high-visibility lighting that is positioned closer to eye level makes riders more noticeable to motorists who may not see them.
Why motorcycle safety?
Motorcycling is an inherently dangerous form of transportation. As a rider, I wanted to develop a concept that could make motorcycle travel safer and be scaled to all types of riders.
Motorcyclists are 29X more likely to die per mile traveled than car drivers.
75% of motorcycle accidents are caused by other motorists violating the riders right-of-way.
88,000 motorcyclists are injured each year.