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Safety In Motion

SIM project deals with the development of an innovative concept vehicle with new safety devices that will result in a decrease in the number of powered two-wheelers (PTW) accidents and related consequences for riders. An integrated (matrix) approach to solve safety issues for PTWs will be implemented.

Tags: Road


Over 6 000 of the 40 000 fatalities on European roads in 2001 were related to powered two-wheelers (PTWs). Compared to the overall number of victims on the roads, this figure represents 15% of this dreadful aspect of our society. The European Commission has launched the third Road Safety Action Plan with the ambitious goal of reducing the fatalities by 50% in 2010. With this goal, the SIM project will play a key role in the reduction of PTW riders’ fatalities and injuries by identifying a suitable safety strategy and providing an integral safety solution. According to the matrix relationship between the three main factors or pillars for safety (motorbike, motorcyclist and infrastructure) and the different aspects related to accident dynamics, from the a priori-event to the crash event (dealing with preventive, active and passive safety), the Safety In Motion project focuses on the vehicle safety aspects. These will include the human-machine-interaction through the enhancement of vehicle stability and control (active safety), development of inflatable protections (passive safety) and innovative human-machine-interface (preventive safety). The most relevant element in SIM is the ambitious objective of developing a comprehensive safety strategy for motorcycles, structuring co-operation with existing research projects in order to cover all the different fields of application.


The SIM project will focus on active and passive safety aspects, mainly from a PTW point-of-view. Preventive safety will also be covered, especially considering human-vehicle interaction. Focusing on vehicle peculiarities, it should be stressed that riding a PTW is a complex task because the balance conditions can only be obtained in a dynamic way and path change is more complex than for a four-wheeler (by actions involving the whole rider-plus-vehicle system). As PTW riders are one of the most vulnerable road users, the main objectives of SIM are:

  • to identify a suitable safety strategy for PTWs
  • to enhance preventive and active safety acting on electronic vehicle management and improving human-machine-interaction (HMI)
  • to focus on integral passive safety devices.

The objective of active safety devices onboard is to substantially improve each of the elements contributing to vehicle stability and balance in all riding conditions. Even if the main aim of SIM is to avoid accidents, passive safety systems are essential to mitigate consequences in case of inevitable precipitating events. SIM will also implement and evaluate human-machine interaction systems, based on ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) technology.

Preventive, active and passive safety aspects will be integrated into the same prototype in order to develop and validate a comprehensive safety strategy for PTWs.

Description of work

The SIM project consists of six work packages (WP). WP3, 4 and 5 are focused on technological development activities.

WP1 deals with the overall coordination of the project, ensuring the management of the activities dealing with financial and technical administration.

WP2 aims to identify accident scenarios and evaluate technical solutions and potential improvements. Moreover, activities carried out in this WP will be devoted to links and collaboration with other current R&D projects focusing on PTW safety.

The main activities of WP3 are the definition of active and preventive safety, vehicle dynamic systems, electronic control of active system implementation, HMI and comfort, and active and preventive safety systems integration.

The work in WP4 is focused on the development of highly effective passive safety systems for motorcycles that will act if a crash event occurs.

In WP5, the feasibility of integrated safety concepts applied on motorcycles will be established by definition of the technical tests to be run, the technical assessment of the overall integrated system and the HMI strategies, evaluating in terms of potential reduction of accident events and potential mitigation of their consequences.

WP6 is responsible for correct and widespread dissemination of information and results generated with regard to integrated safety on motorcycles.


SIM’s aim is the development and implementation of a new concept vehicle that intrinsically enhances PTW safety, merging the handling of classic PTW and the stability of passenger cars, by developing and implementing active, preventive and passive safety devices. The expected results are:

  • development of electronic active devices (e.g. enhanced anti-lock braking system, traction control and brake-by-wire) for powered two-wheelers
  • development of a passive safety algorithm to activate passive safety devices
  • adaptation of protective devices located on the rider (garment) and on the vehicle (inflatable leg protections).

A new generation of the anti-lock braking system is considered, with a better behaviour in cornering and steering, and adaptable on wet road surface conditions. Electronically controlled suspensions for the optimisation of load-shift in acceleration/braking will be implemented, together with a traction control system. A tailor-made integrated passive system for PTWs will be developed and tested with algorithms, sensors and actuators for the activation of the passive system. Protective devices on the rider and on the vehicle will be adapted. Special focus will be devoted to the innovative dashboard designed to optimise the information flow to the rider via the helmet. All the devices and systems will be integrated to generate a prototype as an integral safety solution.