eCall System Comes To BMW Motorcycles

Another indication of the motorcycle industry’s technology revolution is seen in the latest accessory offered by BMW Motorrad, an ‘Intelligent Emergency Call’ system.

Getting emergency services to the scene of a motorcycle accident as quickly as possible can save lives. It’s for this reason BMW Motorrad has developed the optional ‘Intelligent Emergency Call’ system which is intended to get help to the accident or emergency scene as fast as possible.

This type of service is currently offered through a variety of methods such as smartphone applications, but BMW is building the system into their motorcycles and cars.

As already shown in 2011 as part of a pan-European eCall trial involving BMW vehicles, emergency services were able to respond more quickly and get to the scene of the accident 40 to 50 percent faster. The European Commission in charge of the trial at the time, estimated that using an eCall system would save up to 2,500 lives every year also saving € 26 billion in the process.

Source BMW Motorrad

eCall was used for the first time in BMW automobiles in 1999 in Europe. In 2007, the BMW Group extended this safety system by establishing an intelligent and cross-border call center infrastructure. From 2018, eCall will become mandatory for all new cars and due to the synergy effects with BMW Automobiles, the system is expected to be available for the first time in a BMW motorcycle ex works as an option from beginning of 2017.

However, riders outside of Europe will have to wait for this particular revolution. The system will start in Germany with an eye to being introduced throughout Europe. There is not time expectation given for North America.

But as the proverbial ‘genie’ is out of the bottle, it’s something riders worldwide can certainly look forward to.

With this in mind, lets look at how it works.

In the case of an emergency or an accident, the intelligent eCall system, which is either automatically or manually triggered, sends out the position data, the coordinates of the motorcycle accident site, to the qualified BMW Call Center to initiate the rescue chain. The current position as well as information for determining the direction of travel are transmitted to simplify locating the motorcyclist in hard-to-find locations such as motorway junctions.

eCall requires a connection to the mobile phone network in order to trigger the rescue chain. In the “intelligent emergency call” option, the connection is established via the permanently installed mobile communication unit. For the connection no specific mobile operator is required. All that is necessary is at least one operational mobile provider. The service will be made available in all European countries.

Source BMW Motorrad

The intelligent emergency call takes three scenarios into account:

Scenario 1: Automatic triggering in the case of a bad fall / collision.

The emergency call is automatically triggered without time delay, sending a message to a qualified BMW Call Center. The accident victim/rider is taken care of by the BMW Call Center via audio connection until the emergency service arrives. Help is sent out in any case even if there is no response. A display in the instrument cluster shows that the eCall has been initiated. An acoustic signal is also set off. In this case the rider cannot cancel the emergency call any more.

Scenario 2: Automatic triggering in the case of a minor fall / collision.

In this case the emergency call is only triggered after 25 seconds before sending a message to the BMW Call Center. If no help is necessary after only a non-serious accident, the accident victim/rider has the opportunity of cancelling the emergency call at the press of a button. If he does not cancel, the rescue chain is initiated as in scenario 1. A display in the instrument cluster shows that the eCall has been initiated. An acoustic signal is also set off.

Scenario 3: Manual triggering by pressing a button

In this case the eCall is triggered manually by pressing the SOS button on the right handlebar end, e.g. for calling help for other road users in need. A message is sent to the BMW Call Center and a voice connection is established. A voice connection is mandatory if the eCall was triggered manually before further measures are initiated. Here too, the accident victim/rider is also given the opportunity to cancel the emergency call at the press of a button or by turning off the ignition. The intelligent emergency call can only be triggered manually when the motorcycle is stationary with the ignition on.

 The “intelligent emergency call” system recognizes non-emergency situations, such as the motorcycle falling over while standing still or if the bike is jarred by rough roads or potholes.

Source BMW Motorrad

Ergonomically designed control unit featuring loudspeaker and microphone with the “intelligent emergency call” option is located on the right side of the handlebar. In addition to the cover-protected SOS button used for triggering or cancelling an emergency call, a microphone and loudspeaker have also been integrated.

Sophisticated situational detection sensors on the motorcycle detect which event occurred. A crash sensor detects events such as collisions with another vehicle or crashing into an obstruction. A banking angle sensor detects high and low-siders, i.e. which position the motorcycle is in.

The intelligent emergency call system, available in a BMW motorcycle for the first time, constitutes a premium service with international coverage. When a voice connection is made, the rider can communicate with the BMW Call Center in his native language. This is a stand-alone feature which is highly effective in an emergency situation.

The optional “intelligent emergency call” will be rolled out in Germany first and then also introduced quickly to further European markets and models.

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