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New tech- Dials ain’t dials | Columns | Gassit Garage

Infotainment is a word usually restricted to the car world. Bosch wants to change that

The handlebar-mounted dials we once referred to as gauges are these days going by the name of the Integrated Connectivity Cluster – at least in the hallways of both Bosch, who developed it, and KTM, the first brand to nab it as OEM fitment. Both the Integrated Connectivity Cluster and Bosch’s new Lean Connectivity Unit picked the German tech brand up a trio of gongs at the recent CES 2017 Innovation Awards in Las Vegas, too.

The Integrated Connectivity Cluster which you’ll find on KTM’s latest 1290 Super Duke R (world launch AMCN Vol 66 No 13) took out the prize in the show’s In-Vehicle Audio and Video category, as well as scoring the runner-up in the Vehicle Intelligence category. It was in the same category that Bosch picked up its third prize, awarded for the its all-new Lean Connectivity Unit which, much like the firm’s inexpensive front-only ABS system of last year, is aimed fairly and squarely at the small-capacity Asian Pacific commuter market. Here’s what captured the judges’ attention.

Integrated Connectivity Cluster

Full-colour TFT instrument clusters aren’t a new thing, but a full-colour TFT instrument cluster capable of reacting and responding both to your riding style and its surrounding conditions is. It’s the most intelligent set of gauges we’ve yet to see on a motorcycle.

Not only does it combine all the information you’ll ever (and sometimes never) need all in one single full-colour display, and not only will the brightness and contrasts adjust automatically depending on the ambient light situation, and not only will it automatically connect your helmet, your bike and itself to each other via Bluetooth, but it will decide what information you need and when, based on your riding behaviour.

For example, when the pace starts hotting up, the unit will decide you no longer need to be distracted by things like time and temperature and will gradually hide this info the faster you go. At the same time, the speed will be displayed larger and more clearly, offering less distractions. The myriad functions are all operated by bar-mounted controls so your hands are always where they need to be and the Bluetooth connecting process happens just once and is forever remembered.

Lean Connectivity Cluster

While electronic rider aids are commonplace on brand-new motorcycles in most global markets, they are still rather rare in the densest and often most dangerous two-wheeler market in the world: the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Bosch, in Indonesia and Thailand alone, around 21,000 people are dying as a result of motorcycle crashes each year. It has developed a simple but effective way to retrofit a Bluetooth-enabling device to connect a rider’s smartphone to his or her motorcycle complete with emergency call technology activated in an accident scenario. It’s made up of three components: a handlebar-mounted remote control unit, the specific unit to house the Bluetooth enabling tech, and software in the form of an app which controls the system.

In an accident, the unit will send a text with the geographical coordinates of the fallen rider to pre-selected phone numbers. The app can be configured to block or auto-answer calls when on the move, and is compatible with Bosch’s Perfectly Keyless technology, which can turn one or more nominated smartphones into unlocking and starting devices, making it easier to share a bike between family members.

By Kellie Buckley