Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The STOP THE CRASH event by ASEAN NCAP on Road Safety equipment and tech - Proton, Toyota, Subaru, Volvo and most Importantly, BOSCH with their Motorcycle ABS

I spent this tuesday morning at the Sepang International Circuit at the Stop The Crash Event organised by  ASEAN NCAP and also MIROS (Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research). This was the first ever event conducted by ASEAN NCAP on road safety awareness but from a technology point of view. Vehicles with the latest in road safety technology were brought out and the safety features were demonstrated to the guest who attended the event, which by the way is also carried out tomorrow (the 30th of November 2016) for those who have pre-registered.

It was quite interesting to see Proton cars demonstrating how Electronic Stability Control (ESC) works. The Suprima S, Preve, Persona and Iriz cars were actually shown skidding around a wet track with and without ESC. Drama occurs without ESC.

There was Toyota showing off their Camry Hybrid's blind spot detection (above - the motorbike shown  passing the Camry), where the driver of the Camry would be alerted if there is an object as large as a cyclist or motorcyclist right beside the car's flanks but still in the car's blind spot.

There was also a Subaru WRX demonstrating Pedestrian Auto Emergency Braking, Volvo cars (and XC90 SUV) doing active auto braking as well as some other stuff, BMW doing tyre safety demonstration and Nissan too. 

There are also booths where lots of safety stuff was available for visitors to take a look. Look, there were lots of things to do there about vehicle safety. It was quite fun to watch cars equipped with active safety equipment that actually benefits the driver, the passengers as well as the people surrounding the car (whether in other cars, bike or on foot). Cars today have evolved a long way from simple hunks of metal. 

 Honda showing off their motorcycle safety features
Denso displaying their collision detection (radar) Active Safety systems

This event shows off the importance of safety equipment and why all cars will eventually have what I saw today. Of course, all of this has a price which manufacturers as well as customers must pay. Or a middle ground somewhere. And there is that thought on whether the life of the people you carry is worth less than paying some large sum of money. It an ISOFIX equipped seat which costs, say RM500, not worth buying for your child? Is your child worth less than RM500?

I have to also give credit to ASEAN NCAP for inviting BOSCH to take part in STOP THE CRASH. Bosch put emphasis on ABS or anti-lock braking systems on motorcycles. They were brought a Piaggio scooter equipped with extra trainer wheels and demonstrated the effects of riding with ABS and without ABS on the same scooter. The scooter had a single channel ABS braking system on the front wheels. WIth most bikes, the majority of the braking force is at the front and even a simple ABS system acting on the front wheels would be effective. 

With ABS the front wheels actually keep traction during hard braking. The front end tracks better and it isn't affected by road conditions as much as without ABS. The scooter when it braked without ABS actually dipped upon braking and then dipped to one side. With the ABS activated, the scooter braked and tracked straight even on hard braking.

BOSCH wants ABS to be standard on all bikes in the near future. Of course this would only happen if governments made it mandatory as usually some legislation has to be brought up before manufacturers would want to incorporate any sort of device in a vehicle. This is not limited to safety devices but also in anything. I believe it isn't limited to vehicles. Everything has a certain standard to which the government of any country has to agree to before it becomes standard or even mandatory. But I see the need for ABS on bikes. 

The statistics is that every 4th accident involving casualties (i.e death) can be avoided if a motorcycle is equipped with ABS and that 50% of all deaths in road accidents are motorcyclists. No, I also thought that the other 50% could be deaths by those driving cars alone but road accidents also involve cyclists, pedestrians, heavy machinery, trucks, buses and also cars. As such, 50% is such a big percentage. 

As a whole, the STOP THE CRASH event is an eye opener to me. The active safety in four wheeled vehicles aren't as impressive to me as I have tried them all in one way or another throughout the years of trying out cars. But the bike test thingy would actually save more lives than all of the other safety tech displayed today. 


Hakim Shukri (Engku Ali Aminulhakim bin E. Mohd Shukri) said...

Can the Bosch's ABS system be added on current non-ABS-equipped bikes?

Rigval Reza said...


Good question. But no, according to BOSCH you cannot retrofit ABS to your motorcycle. Imagine the R&D required to fit a system would cost. At this moment, BOSCH says that it may cost up to RM1,000 per new motorcycle to get it included. So choose your motorcycles well, from the start.