Belgian Startups Develop 5G-Powered Obstacle Detection

Three Belgian companies have teamed up to develop what could be the next big thing when it comes to motorcycle safety technology. With radar-powered features such as obstacle detection and adaptive cruise control now becoming more and more common on premium bikes, it’s interesting to think what could come next. As we’ve discussed previously, mounting radar equipment can be pretty difficult, thanks to its overall size and intricacy.

Naturally, it can be quite challenging to include a radar unit on slim, sporty bikes, such as a future iteration of the BMW S 1000 R, or say, a future Zero electric machine. So, is there a better solution? Well, a trio of Belgian companies may have the answer, and it comes to us in the form of 5G and artificial intelligence. Yes, I know, it sounds absolutely crazy—5G and artificial intelligence are about the farthest things from the sheer joy and exhilaration that motorcycles are designed to deliver.

Belgian Startups Developing 5G-Powered Obstacle Detection

That said, we also can’t deny the fact that there certainly is a market for all these advanced safety features. I mean, why would all the top-shelf European ADV machines have radar tech if there wasn’t? Anyway, Promixus, a communication and digital services company in Belgium has partnered up with Saroléa, a fellow Belgian electric motorcycle manufacturer, and ML6, a tech company specializing in AI, to develop a futuristic solution to collision avoidance. To do this, a Saroléa electric motorcycle was outfitted with a 5G modem and an HD camera which enabled it to identify obstacles and pedestrians through an AI algorithm.

The way it works is, for all intents and purposes, rather simple. Although, I’d imagine that the setup would be highly dependent on 5G signal—something that isn’t particularly ubiquitous all across the globe. Basically, the HD dashcam transmits footage in real-time via the 5G modem to the cloud. The cloud, on which the artificial intelligence program is loaded, processes and analyzes the images in real-time, and sends the data back to the bike’s information system. The AI program was developed by ML6, a company which has built its reputation on AI apps.

Belgian Startups Developing 5G-Powered Obstacle Detection

The high-tech wizardry doesn’t end there. The next step would be to integrate it with the bike’s actual safety features such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous braking, and collision avoidance warnings. Perhaps the selling point of this system would be that it’s cheaper and more compact than a radar system, and is a lot less delicate in a sense that it’s basically an action camera hooked up to a modem. That being said, it could be quite some time before we see the widespread use of this technology. One thing is true, though, and that’s motorcycles are more and more becoming IOT devices than they are mere two-wheeled vehicles.

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