Navigation path

Decrease textIncrease textDividerPrint versionRSSDivider

Powered Two-wheeler Integrated Safety

The aim of this project is to develop and use new technologies to provide integrated safety systems for a range of powered two-wheelers, which will greatly improve primary safety. PISa will contribute to the general EU target of 50% reduction in road accident fatalities.

Tags: Road


Currently, almost 40 000 people are killed every year on EU roads. About 6 500 of them are drivers and passengers of powered two-wheelers (PTWs) (i.e. motorcycles and mopeds). Motorcycle or moped travel carries a risk of death per kilometre travelled that is 20 times higher than that for car travel. PTW accidents now represent a major subject for road safety in Europe. The safety of vulnerable road users, including motorcycle and moped riders, is one of the priorities of the European Community.

Developing countries have a much lower level of motorisation and the road usage pattern is significantly different from those of developed ones. The proportion of PTWs in these countries is extremely high and the traffic usage patterns are very complex. In India, for instance, PTWs account for about 80% of the domestic automotive sales. This means that these countries are exposed to a much higher level of road accident risk. Typically about 39% of the annual 336 000 road traffic deaths in South East Asia are PTW users. India’s automotive policy (2002-2010) has given a major thrust to improving the road infrastructure, which is abysmally poor in comparison to the growth of traffic (7-10% per annum). While this will largely help in decongesting the roads and reducing the probability of accident occurrence, the motor vehicle rules are being continuously improved to enhance the design of vehicles for safety.


The objective for the PISa project is to combine sensors and actuators to:

  1. avoid 50% of accidents where a collision was not inevitable
  2. reduce the impact speed, and hence reduce the injury severity by one MAIS integer for 50% of accidents where a collision was unavoidable
  3. prevent 50% of the single vehicle loss-of-control accidents.
The PISa main scientific and technical objective can be summarised by:
  1. Identify the most frequent causes – precipitating factors and contributory factors – of PTW accidents and how the rider interacted with the PTW during the pre-crash phase
  2. Examine rider and PTW interaction when riding along known accident sites
  3. Assess and measure rider behaviour in dangerous manoeuvres identified from the accident analysis and instrumented PTW by using computer models
  4. Assess and measure the PTW behaviour and response in dangerous manoeuvres, identify potential areas for improvement by use of triggered control mechanisms on, for instance, the suspension, brakes, steering
  5. Identify existing technologies and assess their usability in PTWs.
  6. Develop a PTW safety system that integrates sensors, warning devices, and actuators that will reduce the incidence and severity of PTW accidents
  7. Assess the costs of the PTW safety system and the benefits in terms of reduction in accidents and injuries
  8. Fit the prototype integrated safety system to at least two PTWs and evaluate them on a test track and road using different riders
  9. Invite various dignitaries to observe the behaviour and hence the benefits of the integrated system during track and road tests.

PTW integrated safety concept
PTW integrated safety concept

Description of work

The PISa project will develop advanced integrated safety systems similar to those fitted to cars. It will comprise sensors to detect a potential emergency, an advanced braking and suspension system that will respond to inputs from the sensors and warning devices to assist the rider. The system will take human reactions to information, warning and support systems into account. The (pre-crash) sensors could be linked to a black box that fires an airbag or other passive safety devices when the system has decided that crash avoidance is not possible, thus creating a genuine integrated safety system.

Specific sensors and actuators integrated into an operational safety system for PTWs will be developed to allow for driver warning and assistance; improving braking and stability is innovative and beyond the current state of the art. The aim is for the system to reduce the incidence and severity of up to 50% of PTW accidents.


PISa will produce 36 deliverables. Of these the most important are:

  • a report summarising the accident scenarios and causations in which integrated safety systems are considered likely to make a positive contribution from the statistical accident data
  • estimate of the impact of integrated safety devices on the fatalities/injuries
  • integrated system – sensors (including a configuration suitable for the motorcycle state observer), logic control, warning devices, intelligent brake and suspension component for motorcycle(s)
  • evaluation of collision mitigation and avoidance strategies
  • prototypes of the selected safety devices and laboratory test results
  • a motorcycle fitted with a second phase prototype system(s) that can be used to demonstrate the performance and benefit.

PISa will decrease the number of PTW accidents and their consequences, thus reducing the societal cost, including medical costs.

Forecasting the contribution of PISa to the casualty reduction in a period ten years ahead is a rather difficult and imprecise process. In the APSN Roadmap of future Automotive passive safety technology development, 2004, a reduction of 25% in motorcycle fatalities by 2030 due to passive safety measures alone is predicted. A higher percentage is expected for PISa based on the integrated approach, i.e. avoidance in 50% of accidents where a collision was not inevitable, reduction in impact speed and preventing 50% of the single vehicle loss-of-control accidents.