Honda is developing innovative moving body panels on the motorcycle that could change the riding experience through targeted feedback and increase safety during automatic steering or braking maneuvers, an ambitious step toward eliminating all traffic accidents involving Honda vehicles by 2050.

Moving body parts concept

The world of motorcycles is currently undergoing a transformation through the use of radar- and camera-based safety solutions.  Honda is exploring innovative ways to intensify communication between motorcycle and rider to enhance safety.

Through patents filed in Europe, Honda is providing insight into an innovative technology: moving panels on the motorcycle that are located in the “knee lock,” the area in the tank where the rider places his or her knees This new development promises to change the riding experience through targeted feedback and could also help implement automatic intervention by the motorcycle in steering or braking maneuvers.


Why forced knee positioning?

Honda is working hard on a number of assistance systems, including steering assist and lane keeping, as well as emergency braking assist for motorcycles.  The active body parts are designed to solve a key problem: to continuously inform the rider and compensate for unexpected maneuvers by the motorcycle.


How the technology works and its potential

When the motorcycle acts independently, for example through the steering assistance system, the panels change.  This change is intended not only to give the rider immediate feedback, but also to help maintain control and balance. 

If the driver reacts incorrectly when the steering assistance system intervenes or automatic emergency braking takes place, this could create additional risks of accidents.  The panels could put the driver in a position that helps, not hinders, driving behavior.  For example, in the event of an emergency stop, the panels could extend on both sides so that this automatically increases knee lock, which means a better grip on the motorcycle.  In addition, this further feedback could give the rider a better “heads-up” on the intervention of assistance systems.

Theoretically, this system could also serve as a learning aid to optimize weight transfer in curves.


Honda’s vision for the future

Although the introduction of this system is still in the stars, it underscores Honda’s commitment to developing integrated driver assistance systems.  With an ambitious goal of eliminating all traffic accidents involving Honda vehicles by 2050, innovative technologies like this are a key component in getting there.


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