Honda Gold Wing to get adaptive cruise control

    Honda is working to integrate the radar sensors more neatly into the bodywork than has been done so far.

    Published On Mar 02, 2022 04:12:00 PM

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    Honda Gold Wing to get adaptive cruise control
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    The Honda Gold Wing is quite often described as a car on two wheels. Part of this is down to its mammoth size, some of it is to do with its car-like features - Apple CarPlay, for example. But a lot of it is down to the fact that the Gold Wing has often been the motorcycle to debut revolutionary new technologies often previously seen only on cars.

    One of the latest pieces of tech to filter through from four wheels to two has been radar-based adaptive cruise control, but the Gold Wing, or any Honda for that matter, is yet to receive it. Never one to be left behind, recent patent filings show that Honda is very much working on equipping its full-fat tourer with the technology, and in typical Honda fashion, is aiming to do a better job than has been done so far.

    Honda Gold Wing: front radar sensor

    Adaptive cruise control systems use a forward facing radar sensor to scan the road ahead. This sensor needs to smoothly send and receive radio waves in order to achieve this, so it's imperative that nothing significantly blocks the area in front of it. With cars, manufacturers are able to place a thin, smooth and flat sheet of plastic in front of the sensor, masking its appearance without hindering its performance. 

    But with motorcycles, flat surfaces on the front are pretty hard to come by. So, existing radar-equipped bikes like the Multistrada V4 and BMW R 1250 RT have a slightly awkward mounting for the sensor, with it being slapped on the front in the midst of a black surround, in an only half-successful attempt to conceal it. 

    With the Honda Gold Wing, though, real estate is in fuller supply. Its large front fairing has afforded Honda the luxury of attempting to conceal its radar sensor behind the bodywork, as shown in these patent drawings.

    The images show a rectangular radar sensor housed behind the centre of the fairing, in the notch between the headlights. As there is a focus on isolating the sensor and the bodywork in front of it from vibration, it is mounted on an extension of the bike's fairing stays, which are in turn bolted to the frame. It's also likely that the gap between the sensor and the bodywork ahead will be filled with a sponge-like radar-invisible material.

    The shape of the sensor is interesting, because the Ducati and BMW models currently equipped with this technology use systems supplied by Bosch, which features a square-shaped radar sensor. The rectangular shape of the Gold Wing's sensor suggests that Honda could be developing one of its own. Alternatively, there is the possibility that Bosch is developing a different version of the sensor for Honda – the two brands have a close relationship – with the German company already providing radar systems for Honda cars and ABS units for numerous Honda motorcycles.

    Honda Gold Wing: new display

     

    In addition to the radar sensor itself, Honda has also filed patents pertaining to how the cruise control information will be displayed to the rider. One design shows an enlarged version of the digital display between the Gold Wing's clocks, but the second design is far more interesting. It shows a head-up display on the Gold Wing's windscreen, which could be implemented either by projection, or the windscreen itself being a display.

    Honda Gold Wing: rear radar sensor

    Bikes like the Multistrada V4 also have a rear-facing radar sensor to alert the rider about vehicles in their blind spots, and Honda seems to be working on a similar system as well. Certain designs show it on the back of the Gold Wing, while others use the Africa Twin as a base. The implementation varies from using radar sensors to ultrasonic sensors (the kind used as reversing sensors in cars) or a combination of the two. The new display options could also be used to implement the blind-spot warnings provided by these sensors.

    With adaptive cruise controls now already on the market, Honda has lost its change to be the debutant of this new technology. But it still has a shot at being the first Japanese manufacturer to roll out the system – a race in which it's closely competing with Kawasaki. So expect a cruise control update to the Gold Wing sooner rather than later.

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