BMW has long been a leader in new motorcycle technology and is set to continue its cutting edge tradition with the imminent introduction of Active Cruise Control to BMW Motorrad motorcycles.
While BMW has not yet confirmed which models will debut the technology, we believe Active Cruise Control (ACC) will likely debut on BMW‘s premium tourers such as the K-series or even the R1250GS.
The technology itself is very similar to what has been around the car world for a number of years, and adapts the cruise control speed to the driving speed of the vehicle in front.
To date we can’t think of a manufacturer that has successfully implemented the system, which not only needs to be able to track the vehicle in front but also compensate for the unique ways a motorcycle uses the road.
If our thinking us correct BMW Motorrad will soon be the first bike manufacturer to offer this type of rider assistance system.
Developed in cooperation with Bosch, the years of experience with passenger car driver assistance systems of both companies could be applied selectively here and used for motorcycle applications.
According to BMW, the new ACC provides maximum comfort for the demanding touring motorcyclist by automatically regulating the speed set by the rider and the distance to the vehicle driving in front.
The system automatically regulates the vehicle speed when the distance to the vehicle in front is reduced and keeps the distance defined by the rider.
This distance can be varied in three stages. Both the riding speed as well as the distance to the vehicle in front can be set conveniently using a button. The individual settings are displayed on the TFT instrument cluster. The new BMW Motorrad ACC has two selectable control characteristics: comfortable or dynamic, in which the acceleration and deceleration behaviour is changed accordingly. The distance control can also be deactivated in order to be able to use the Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC).
When it comes to cornering, BMW says the speed is automatically reduced by the ACC if required and a comfortable lean angle is aimed at. With an increasing lean angle, however, the braking and acceleration dynamics are limited in order to maintain a stable platform and not to unsettle the rider by abrupt braking or acceleration.
If the idea unsettles you, BMW insists ACC is a rider assistance system that leaves the responsibility with the rider and allows him to intervene at all times, meaning you can turn it off by taking action.
Interestingly, BMW’s ACC system only tracks moving vehicles, which means coming up on stationary vehicles – like at the end of a traffic jam or at traffic lights – the rider has to do the braking which is unlike the systems employed in most cars these days. Maybe the engineers Behind the system don’t trust riders not to topple over if the bike comes to a halt on its own?
Regardless, it’s cool to see the ACC technology finally filter down into the bike world. While BMW has yet to announce when it will debut the technology, we suspect we could see it as early as 2021 for 2022 model year motorcycles.