Sharing the Road with Robots: when Motorcycling meets Automation!
2016 The 2016 edition of the annual FIM Dinner Debate took place in Brussels on 19 October. Representatives from the motorcycling community, the industry and EU decision-makers exchanged views over the future interaction between automated vehicles and powered two-wheelers, stressing the need to make roads safer for all modes of transport. During the evening, the FIM announced its intention to join the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC).
The event was hosted by two influential Members of the European Parliament, Wim van de Camp (EPP, NL) and Inés Ayala Sender (S&D, ES), who opened the debate by depicting the great safety potential of Intelligent Transport Systems for motorcyclists. They also highlighted the importance for politicians of striking the right balance between supporting innovation and avoiding safety hazards. Jos Driessen, FIM Board Member, welcomed the participants on behalf of the FIM and underlined the importance of a science-based approach to road safety as well as safety in sports.
Mr Lagrange, coordinator of the European Commission GEAR 2030 “Highly automated and connected vehicles” Working Group, outlined the need to act quickly, given that autonomous driving systems are already being introduced on the market, while involving as many stakeholders from the value chain as possible, and ensuring that the right decisions are taken to increase general safety levels for all road users.
Mr Fischer from Yamaha (member of the CMC), ACEM ITS committee chairman and former FIM Speed World Record holder over 100 km and 1,000 km, echoed the importance of connectivity, demonstrating how this will be key to securing swiftly road safety benefits for all motorcyclists at a reasonable cost. This view was supported by the FIM’s Public Affairs Commission Director, Mr. Jesper Christensen, who highlighted the important and quick changes taking place in the technological and commercial landscape and the need to put motorcycles at the heart of these new developments.
The dinner ended with a lively Q&A session, stressing the differences between detection and recognition, the future challenges of “coding ethics” into automated vehicles, and the need to be realistic and transparent about self-driving technologies.
In his closing remarks, Mr Aeschlimann, FIM Executive Director Operations, thanked all the participants for their contributions, reiterated the need to have inclusive dialogue on such matters, as all users shared the same roads, and outlined that for this purpose, the FIM intends to become an associate member of the Connected Motorcycle Consortium.
Jesper Christensen, FIM Public Affairs Commission Director, said: "It is important to understand that we probably can develop an electronically safe zone around the motorcycle in the future, which will save a remarkably high number of lives. This, combined with riders’ training and motorcycle Vision-Zero Infrastructure, will help motorcycling to become very safe. Motorcycling will be able to grow, owing to a safer environment based on connected and automated cars. That is why the FIM intends to join the Connected Motorcycle Consortium."
The photo call outside the European Parliament in Brussels was supported this year by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd.