Recent patent filings show that Honda may be looking to introduce radar-mounted warning systems on a future model of the Africa Twin.
Recent patent filings show Honda’s radar-assisted adaptive cruise control system for the Africa Twin
The Honda Africa Twin is likely to get radar-assisted cruise control, after Ducati, BMW and KTM already introduced similar systems on their range-topping adventure bikes. The radar-powered adaptive cruise control system, made by Bosch, has already made its debut in production models of the KTM 1290 Super Adventure S, the Ducati Multistrada V4 S and the BMW R 1250 RT. And now, patents filed recently by Honda show that its flagship adventure tourer, the Honda Africa Twin, will be getting a radar-assisted adaptive cruise control system as well. The difference is that, perhaps Honda’s system will be indigenously developed, rather than just a plug and play device sourced from Bosch.
Honda’s patents suggest the use of cameras alongside the radar sensors, so the system will use another layer of monitoring tech, and allow the on-board computer to make a better-informed judgement of what’s happening in its surroundings. The advantage of using cameras is that, while the radar system can sense approaching vehicles, or other vehicles in close proximity, accurately measuring distances, cameras can be used to pick up additional information, like brake lights, road signs and traffic lights.
The front radar on the Africa Twin patent filings seem to be similar to the systems used by BMW, Ducati and KTM. And the new Africa Twin already seems to have a spot under the headlights, probably designed keeping in mind the positioning of a radar sensor. But it’s the rear section which has a different design. Honda’s Africa Twin design patents show not one, but two rear radars, mounted on the number plate hanger, and these sensors are fitted at an angle to offer a wide detection zone. So, with the dual radars, the area covered will not just be the area behind the bike, but also on each side as well.
Honda’s system also mentions the use of transponders to broadcast information from the sensors to other vehicles, or to roadside receivers. So, these should add one more dimension to the warning system, that of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, or vehicle-to-infrastructure system, allowing safety systems like radars or cameras on one car or motorcycle to pass on to other similarly-equipped vehicles. With the rapid induction of such technology, Honda is likely to introduce the latest tech within the next couple of years, both on the next-generation Africa Twin, as well as on the Honda Gold Wing.