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Automated vehicle technology may soon be applied to motorcycles

Car owners aren't the only drivers in Minnesota who may benefit from automated technology. Some companies are exploring the possibilities of using driver-assistance innovations to make the road safer for riders on two wheels. Motorcycle fatalities routinely exceed fatal car crashes several times over per mile traveled according to U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures. Part of the reason for this is because of direct exposure the elements and having very few defensive options.

One auto parts supplier is hoping to cut down on motorcycle accidents with driver-assistance systems for motorcycles. One of the features being developed is adaptive cruise control that speeds up and slows down to avoid possible accidents. Another company is working on an alert system that would give motorcycle drivers a 360-degree view of what's around them. The system consists of front- and rear-view cameras and lights on the rear-view mirrors that alert the driver of potential collision risks.

Some manufacturers are hoping to incorporate automated features onto newer bikes in the future. Other companies believe it may be possible to directly market easy-to-install components directly to drivers so that they can add them to existing bikes. Cost for this technology may be more reasonable than what's used in cars because motorcycles don't need the same kind of driver protection. For instance, vision systems may be all that's necessary as most motorcycle usage occurs during good weather conditions. Also, automatic emergency braking isn't practical for motorcycles since coming to an abrupt stop may harm the driver.

Whether a motorcycle collision involves a traditional bike or one with an automated system, it's possible for some type of negligence to play a role in an accident. If this might be the case, a personal injury lawyer may review accident reports, secure camera or smartphone footage or identify witnesses to determine what legal options are available.

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