Honda Patents Automatic Emergency Braking Technology

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

New patent applications published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reveal Honda is working on an automatic braking system for motorcycles. The patents describe a system that would apply the brakes when it detects a possible frontal collision, like, say, a car suddenly turning through an intersection.

Honda already has a similar system, called the Collision Mitigation Braking System, on several new 2017 automobiles but the patent applications show Honda is looking at applying the technology to two-wheelers. On cars, CMBS uses a combination of millimeter-wave radar and a camera to determine a potential frontal collision. The patents reveal a similar set-up, but for motorcycles.

honda patents automatic emergency braking technology

If the system determines a potential crash, the CMBS provides the driver with a warning before applying different levels of braking automatically. While the system isn’t designed to prevent all collisions, Honda says it can at the very least give the driver a better chance of taking corrective action. Reducing speed could also help reduce the severity of a crash.

honda patents automatic emergency braking technology

For motorcycles, Honda faces the added challenge of adding automatic emergency braking within certain limits to prevent disrupting the rider, which could pose its own risks.

When a potential collision is sensed, the system checks to see whether the rider has already started applying the brakes. If so, the automatic braking system provides supplemental braking pressure while keeping the same ratio of front and rear braking so it feels more natural to the rider.

If the rider had not applied brakes, the system would first activate the rear brake to prevent nose dive. The system then calculates the friction coefficient of the road surface before determining the appropriate braking limits. If the rear brake reaches its lock limit, the system then apples front brake pressure. The system continues to work until the motorcycle is stopped or the obstacle is no longer a threat.

honda patents automatic emergency braking technology

There’s still a ways to go before this technology makes it to a production motorcycle, if at all. At the very least, we know that Honda is looking into it.

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7 of 19 comments
  • Therr850 Therr850 on Feb 12, 2017

    Most commenters have forgotten research shows 75-80% of riders target fixate when confronted with emanate danger. Don't know if this will truely help but,,,,, maybe.

  • Carol Jadzia Carol Jadzia on Feb 13, 2017

    Very worrying that it is thought that automation applying the brakes is going to have a better response than the actions of the rider. Especially with the suggestion it will apply the rear brake first. In the UK we have taught emergency braking as part of our basic to advanced test training syllabuses for many years and it is standard practice across the board to apply the front brake before the back. This is in order to get the weight transferred forward and down on to the front wheel first. We have found that this is by far the best way to avoid the rear wheel locking. A system that second guesses this and applies the opposite is likely to do more harm than good in an emergency situation.

    • See 4 previous
    • Denchung Denchung on Oct 22, 2017

      That's a big point of the patent. The data from the rear braking will then help it determine the amount of friction which it needs to figure out how much front brake to apply. It could collect the data from the front, but in doing could cause more problems. Imagine how it would feel if you were riding and suddenly the front brake started working by itself without having enough data yet to figure out how much to work.

      In any case your point about emergency braking is the more important factor here. Yes, people should know how to brake in an emergency. This patent describes what the systolic do when it realizes the rider won't be able to do it. That's when this system kicks in.