Tuesday, January 5, 2016

LASER Headlights and HUD Helmets

BMW Laser Headlight arrangement
Gripe Session: I never say never, but it will be a cold day in Hell that I buy another BMW product. Having said that, I'm interested in their ConnectedRide concept that adapts automotive innovations to the motorcycle world. To highlight the two-wheeled future, the company modified a K1600 GTL with a laser headlight and controls for a helmet-integrated head-up display. The result could make riding safer.

Some of BMW's latest models like the i8 and 7 series can already cut through the darkness with laser headlights, and this K1600 GTL brings that technology to motorcycles. The bright light can shine down the road up to 1,969 feet, which the company claims is about twice as far as a conventional unit. The additional visual range gives riders extra time to evaluate what's ahead at night and could make for a safer journey. The concept laser headlight on the bike is only a feasibility test for now, but preliminary development is underway. 

I haven't heard anything from Ducati on the subject. Ducati is owned by Audi (high tech German firm) and I'd expect to see something from them on the matter -- but no. I hate the idea of a kraut machine having an edge on my pizza bike.

A heads-up-display will not only make me feel more like I'm wearing a Top Owl fighter pilot helmet when I drive, but it's clearly safer. You no longer have to look at the instrument cluster and can keep your head in the game on the road. However, since they are not coming soon to Ducati, I'll begin to research how and if I can buy or build a HUD for my helmet and integrate it into Ducati's ride-by-wire computer. I really hate to experiment with the Ducati computer, and try to slave the output to Blue Tooth. It would be much better if they'd just FOLLOW the hated BMW, and get with the program.

Yes, the HUD/laser headlight is far more James Bond like than the traditional helmet/lighting arrangement on a motorcycle

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. You'll never catch me wearing a cape.

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  2. I prefer the old school headlight.

    In 1909, Ford Model T's and most other popular cars at the time had headlights powered by a carbide reaction, which took place in a carbide generator tank bolted to the running board. Once water dripped onto the solid carbide placed at the bottom of the tank, it created a chemical reaction that created a flamable gas that was plumbed to the headlights. Once the gas was flowing, the operator would get out of the car, open up the front of each headlight and light the burner inside with a match.

    Ah, the good ol' days....

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    1. Ran on acetylene? (from the carbide reaction)

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  3. You totally need one of these. Ask Q.

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  4. LOL, Never catch you wearing a cape... probably not, doesn't mean you don't when the situation warrants...

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    1. If I REALLY WAS Darth Vader or one of his minions, I'd have to wear a cape, wouldn't I. But if I was Darth, the Death Star's vulnerable vent would be closed, and I'd still be cruising around the far-away galaxy blowing stuff up.

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  5. Drive American, like the X-5 diesel. Bought used (slightly) so it is an American car, made here and money stays here. Plus it is about the relationship with the people that sell and service the car.

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    Replies
    1. I would take a BMW if somebody gave it to me, then I'd sell it, and use the money to buy something else. I have a private feud going on with them. Mention that brand on this blog brings about this reaction.

      DON'T BUY BMW.

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