The Riders Digest in-house reporter, Amelie Summers’ column “Inside Line” has featured the issues on Throttle Control in an article entitled, “Automatic speed limiters – coming to your bike soon?”
Amelie says. “On a more serious note, a 2008 report by the European Transport Safety Council goes into the issue in a lot more detail. It points out that everything so far (vibro saddles excepted) has been developed with cars and vans in mind. It goes on to stress that simply transferring this technology to a motorcycle could have very adverse consequences on safety”.
The article adds, “of course this project is free to investigate whatever it likes but it is however a pity to learn that despite advice from these trainers (…), Saferider is pursuing the idea of throttle related ISA (Intelligent Speed Adaption) by simply transferring ideas developed for cars and vans”.
The article also mentions that training experts gave preliminary advice to the SAFERIDER project, whose partners include the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) of which the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) and MAG (Motorcycle Action Group UK) are both members.
Right To Ride’s Trevor Baird says, “We have been writing to these organisations over the last three months regarding this fundamental issue of rider control and have not received any positive feedback on what they intend to do to stop the development of this system”.
FEMA reported in January/February that it has been active on the deployment of ITS in Europe, notably through its involvement in ITS-related research projects such as SAFERIDER and the European eSafety Forum platform to issue positive recommendations where motorcyclists are taken into account in the development, deployment and management of intelligent applications.
However in the latest June-July newsletter FEMA has commented on an EU Directive which is establishing a framework for the development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in Europe.
This directive includes throttle, braking and steering control, FEMA commented that, “Anyone who ever rode a motorcycle or a scooter knows that the rider’s careful control of his machine will dramatically suffer from interferences with steering, braking or throttling. Leaving control to the rider is the best way to make sure he remains safe. That is why FEMA will fight for the safety of riders, using the best weapon at its disposal: plain common sense.”
The article ends “FEMA eagerly awaits the publication of the final Directive in the official journal, in order to give you a full review and analysis in our next edition”. (NB: The ITS Directive was published on 6th August).
EU Commission’s Approval and Support
At Right To Ride we have to ask, where is the fight for the safety of riders? When will its best weapon of plain common sense be deployed? Urgency is required, because the SAFERIDER project ends in November when the final review will be presented to the EU Commission, when the deliverables (results) of the project, including the force feedback throttle will be seeking the EU Commission’s approval and support.
The purpose of FEMA’s involvement in the project was to ensure that any device developed in the project would not take control away from the rider and this was made clear at the SAFERIDER User Forum by the former FEMA President Hans Petter Strifeldt in 2008.
Meanwhile at Right To Ride we have written directly and presented a paper to the EU Commission Project Officer and Directors of the SAFERIDER project, setting out the reasons why we consider the Force Feedback Throttle dangerous.
Our argument in this paper is that any interference with the throttle will de-stabilize the motorcycle and place the rider in a precarious situation. We set out our reasons in detail why the development of this device – the force feedback throttle – must be stopped immediately and withdrawn from the SAFERIDER project.
We say – “No To Throttle Control”
No To Throttle Control – Click Here
Paper To – EU Commission project officer and the Saferider Consortium – pdf 37kb – Click Here
The Riders Digest Article – Automatic speed limiters – coming to your bike soon? – pdf 1.3mb – Click Here
Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) is made up of riders organization across Europe from Finland through to Norway, Netherlands, France, Spain, across to Italy, Germany, to Greece and as far away as Iceland.
FEMA website – www.fema-online.eu
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