fbpx

Ford Sensor Technology Applied to Motorcycles

Ford is expanding its use of sensor technology to motorcycles, allowing researchers and programers to better understand how cars, bikes and other modes of transportation in combination can create new mobility solutions and help make people’s lives better.

Ford Sensor Technology-01

Ford is expanding its use of sensor technology to motorcycles, allowing researchers and programers to better understand how cars, bikes and other modes of transportation in combination can create new mobility solutions and help make people’s lives better.

“OpenXC started as a project to make a car send a tweet five years ago, but has since become a platform, or an ‘Internet of mobility’ that allows us to use data to better understand how people move around the world,” said Ken Washington, Ford vice president, Research and Advanced Engineering. “Now, the same open innovation mentality behind OpenXC has inspired our team to create a sensor kit for bicycles and motorcycles to learn how other transportation options might best serve people in urban, suburban and rural areas, including improving their health.”

Ford’s open-source hardware and software kit provides real-time access to vehicle data, such as sensors, GPS receiver and vehicle speed. Ford has been using OpenXC to support some of its Ford Smart Mobility experiments for more than a year.

The company is gathering and analyzing vehicle data collected by OpenXC as part of Ford Smart Mobility, its plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level.

Data-driven motorcycles

The broad insights learned from vehicle data, including how people drive and use their cars, first inspired Ford researchers to create a sensor kit for bicycles to collect additional data. Now, the company is rolling out the new sensor kit to motorcycles helping Riders for Health.

The medical services group collects GPS data and mapping coordinates to reach people who need medical care – vaccines, medications and live-saving hospital care – in rural West Africa.

Ford helped Riders for Health improve its maintenance systems and vehicle fleet logistics, equipping Ford Ranger pickups with OpenXC technology. This allows Riders for Health to track stops, timing and routes for their work in The Gambia.

Ford Sensor Technology-02

The data collected also is being used to create maps of remote regions – a first.

After learning that more than half of the group’s fleet of service vehicles are motorcycles that cannot capture the right level of data, Ford created a new sensor kit that will be upfitted on 50 motorcycles early next year.

“Our goal is to understand what mobility means to people who don’t have access to their own vehicles,” said Arthur Zysk, Ford research analyst who leads the project. “Ford’s commitment to smart mobility innovation is driving real, measurable change.”

Longer-term lessons and applications from this project could be used to help ambulance and emergency services providers improve efficiency across the world, including in rural areas. 

Urban mobility learnings

Engineers at Ford’s Research and Innovation Center Palo Alto have been using sensor kits that gather information from bicycles and other common forms of transportation in urban areas.

The devices gather information such as wheel speed, acceleration and altitude, as well as traffic patterns, pedestrian data and road conditions, which is difficult to obtain from vehicle sensors.

Researchers continue exploring how bike and vehicle data can be analyzed together to gain greater understanding of how different transportation modes might best meet future mobility needs.

You May Also Like

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum Announces 2024 Inductees to Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame Class of 2024 is notable for its deep roots in the culture of motorcycling.

Sturgis Museum and Hall of Fame banquet

The Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame has announced the museum’s Hall of Fame Class of 2024. This distinguished lineup is composed of individuals with a diverse range of accomplishments, from Hollywood fame to racing championships to business success. Honorees this year have supported veterans and the elderly, advocated for motorcyclists' rights and have shown artistic talent on canvas as well as on two wheels.

New Sponsorship Agreement Between Heidenau Tires and Team Obsolete

Heidenau has been producing tires for classic motorcycle sizes for almost 20 years.

Heidenau tires with classic Benelli race motorcycle
R&G to Protect All-New Rahal Ducati Moto Team

The team makes its maiden appearance at Daytona 200 next month.

R&G crash protection engine cover
H-D Factory Race Team Launches for 2024 MotoAmerica Mission King of the Baggers

The 18-race schedule includes a round at the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

Harley-Davidson Factory Race Team
Volcon Releases Second Production Update Video

New CEO John Kim takes us on a visual tour of Stag and Grunt production.

Volcon Stag driving in prairie

Other Posts

International Female Ride Day: May 4, 2024

Celebrating women riders worldwide.

International Female Ride Day 2024
Taiga Expands Business Into South America

Taiga enters a $25 million exclusive three-year distribution agreement with Ventura.

Ventura storefront
NPA Hires New Territory Sales Manager Jason Wilson for NPA Portland

Wilson was most recently a general sales manager at a Ducati dealership.

Jason Wilson
Nationwide 2024 KTM STREET DEMO TOUR

Test ride the naked bikes and adventure range.

2024 KTM Street Demo Tour