The Italian divisions of Samsung and Yamaha have teamed up to design a new “smart windshield” for motorcycles to increase road safety, Spiros Tsantilas wrote for Gizmag.
The aftermarket item, according to TheRideAdvice.com, sits at the bottom of the windshield, higher than the dashboard on the prototype motorcycle, but below a rider’s line of sight. A rider will still need to look slightly down to see the information displayed on it, but will mostly be able to look at the road ahead.
Designed to be used with a smartphone app, the windshield can display navigation information, and notifications of messages and incoming calls. You can set the app to have automatic replies sent via text message.
Yamaha provided the test vehicle, a Trinity scooter, a 125 cc tilting three-wheel scooter. That model is popular among young people in Europe, especially those with A1 introductory licenses, who are most affected by distractions from smartphones.
Samsung developed the Smart Windshield in conjunction with Edo Mossi (a rally and motorcycle rider) and Matteo Bruno (also known as Cane Secco, a rap artist from Rome), as part of its Launching People global communications project.
For “Launching People,” Samsung matches up pairs of experts from different fields to solve problems. In one example, the program put together a neuroscientist and an industrial designer specializing in technology to come up with ways to prevent concussions in sports. In 2015, as this blog wrote, the program introduced the concept for a Safety Truck designed to prevent accidents when drivers pass on narrow roads. The idea involved a large video screen on the back of the truck that gave the driver in the vehicle behind it a clear view of the road ahead to know if it was safe to pass.
Although using a phone while riding or driving “is obviously neither smart, nor legal in most countries,” the unfortunate fact in Italy (where the Smart Windshield concept was designed) is that smartphones “consistently and consciously” distract 25% of people between the ages of 18 and 24. That data comes from Automobile Club d’ Italia/Istituto Nazionale di Statistica reports.
While acknowledging some benefits, Gizmag expresses concern about possible distracted driving problems with the Smart Windshield:
Samsung and Yamaha say that this concept is in development phase with no commercialization plans for the time being. Apart from simply displaying notifications, the Smart Windshield concept could also be used to display useful data from applications such as maps or GPS, further enhancing its practical side. Yet the benefits from adding a second screen to the bike’s instrument panel may be disputable, as the abundance of information can prove to be an even bigger distraction.
You can see a video of the concept Smart Windshield here: