BMW is putting its car technology to good use by adding dynamic brake lights to its motorcycle line-up after the technology had only been available to its automobiles. It’s a fresh approach to technology-sharing between the company’s car and motorcycle divisions, thus allowing a handful of the latter’s products to benefit from what the car division cooked up in its R&D department.
For those who are unfamiliar with dynamic brake lights, the system was developed to make the rear brake lights flash during deceleration, allowing a car equipped with the technology to get noticed quicker by other vehicles. These brake lights flash at a frequency of 5Hz when a motorcycle brakes while traveling at speeds above 31 mph. As soon as the speed drops below 9 mph, the rear turn signals spring into action, flashing like hazard lights until the motorcycle picks up speed of at least 12 mph.
The system will be put in a number of BMW motorcycles as an added option, including the R1200GS, R1200GS Adventure, and the S1000XR. On account of it being the top-of-the-line BMW motorcycle line, the K1600GT, GTL, and GTL Exclusive will all receive the dynamic brake light system as standard equipment.
For now, the dynamic brake light system will only be offered in the European market. BMW has made no indication on whether or not it plans to offer the technology to the US market. That’s still up in the air since BMW might still have to get clearance from regulatory bodies like the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration before taking any action.
Continue reading to read more about BMW’s decision to adopt dynamic brake lights into its motorcycle division.
Why it matters
I’m actually surprised that BMW doesn’t share the technology between its car and motorcycle divisions more frequently. You would think that a company with vast resources on both ends would have time to hop on over to the other office to maybe exchange a few notes on what they’re cooking up respectively.
Then again, I don’t make those decisions so I’m not going to drive that point home.
What’s important for me is that BMW’s motorcycle line will be adopting a safety technology that it probably should’ve done a long time ago. All of you know by now that I’m a big proponent of vehicle safety, more so with motorcycles because riders put themselves in far more precarious situations than car drivers do.
The dynamic brake light system may sound like simple technology to some people, but it does serve a huge purpose.
Picture yourself as a driver and a motorcycle is right in front of you. You see these flashing lights and you’re immediately alerted that the bike in front of you is slowing down. It’s not the same set-up wherein the brake lights just illuminate and you’re not sure how hard the motorcycle is braking. This technology allows you to gauge the bike’s speed as it slows down and put you in the right mindset to make your own proper action.
Hopefully, BMW doesn’t restrict this technology to the models it initially stated. Maybe the whole BMW motorcycle lineup can benefit from this in the future. For now, though, it’s just nice to see that the company’s car and motorcycle divisions are upholding the time-tested “sharing is caring” mantra.