If you ride a motorcycle, you already know that certain objects in the roadway are hazardous to your safety. For example, a pot hole in the road might be annoying to a driver, but a pot hole to a motorcyclist could be dangerous—even resulting in a fatal crash.
What if you found out there was technology that could help you avoid potholes and have a safer ride on your motorcycle? Alexandria Noble, a master’s degree student at Virginia Tech, is exploring ways to use connected-vehicle technology to help improve motorcyclists’ safety and reduce vehicle crashes in general. In order to do this, Noble and a team of others have equipped vehicles with transportation institute-developed data acquisition systems to help make this a reality.
With this technology, researchers have recorded driver and vehicle information when the vehicle is in motion. The data collected from their studies has led Noble to explore a new technology that would allow cars to talk to other vehicles, to stationary receivers, and to other technologies.
The connected vehicle technology would reveal the road surfaces and hazards and would then alert drivers of those hazards. While research is still in the early stages, it is believed that warnings could be transmitted to dashboards in cars via a sound or visual alert; however, there would need to be a different alerting system to warn motorcyclists of roadway hazards. This way, motorcycles equipped with data acquisition systems could receive warnings from other vehicles or receivers so they can avoid pot holes and other hazards.