Cars are becoming smarter. This is demonstrated by the technology under the hood, the vehicle's primary power source (petrol, electricity or a hybrid) and the various ways in which the driver can interact with the vehicle. All of this should culminate in intelligent driverless vehicles, which, whether the technology is ready for mass-production or not, will be legal in Australia by 2020. But what about those who prefer their motorised transportation to take place on two wheels?
Smart motorcycles are certainly on the cards, with a prototype that is supposedly so safe that the rider wouldn't even need a helmet. Your existing motorcycle won't need to be upgraded anytime soon though. It's just a prototype, and it could be many years before it's street legal. And even if it's safe enough to be ridden without a helmet, existing legislation would need to be overhauled in order for this to happen. But if you're intrigued by the idea of a motorcycle that utilises smart technology, perhaps you don't need to look any further than your helmet.
Many types of technology can quickly become outdated, even though still usable and definitely not obsolete. After all, it's not as though most people bought all 18 new iPhone models that have been released since 2007. Smart motorcycle helmets of the not-too-distant future could incorporate augmented reality, similar to smart glasses.
This would allow for relevant data to be projected onto the interior of the visor without compromising your view of the road. This could be mapping information showing you where to go, your speed, distance travelled and perhaps even the speed limit of the area you're passing through. While such helmets might not yet be commercially available, there's no reason why you can't purchase a smart motorcycle helmet today.
All a helmet needs in order to be usable as a smart helmet are speakers directly next to your ears, a microphone and the capacity to connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. While there is no visual component, you can interact with your smartphone with voice commands.
- This allows for a GPS navigation to be used, in that your phone's digital assistant can actually give you voice prompts, much like a car's GPS.
- Like any type of hands-free device, you will be able to make and receive calls via the speakers and microphone in your helmet, using only voice commands.
When using a smart helmet, you will just need to remember that not only do you need petrol in your motorcycle, you'll also need to make sure that both your phone and helmet are charged.