Feb 3, 2016

Smart Turn System

A thread through the motorcycle class I teach is risk awareness, risk taking and risk mitigation. We're often talking about making making yourself visible and always communicating your intentions. At some point, the topic of turn signals comes up. I talk about using the signals to let others know what you're doing. And, possibly more importantly, canceling the signal when you're done.

How many times have you been driving down the road and see someone who's left their signal on? When you first see them, you're waiting for them to make their move. Eventually you realize they're not going to do anything, not even cancel their signal. At some point, you probably even start ignoring them.

As motorcyclists, we don't ever want other roadway users to start ignoring us. I believe leaving your signal on is a good way to have this happen. So, in class, I try to emphasize using the turn signals when you're going to make a turn or lane change and to cancel them when you're done with your maneuver.

In my never ending quest for motorcycle technology that help make us safer, I came across Smart Turn System (STS).

The device monitors several inputs, including speed and lean angle, determines when you've completed your "turn" and will cancel the signal.

My Road King will cancel the signal after making a turn using lean angle sensors. For lane change maneuvers, or even straight-line riding, it will use a distance measurement to cancel the signal.

Ultimately, my bike will already cancel the signal after a turn or a lane change, much like the STS will cancel the signal as well. The big difference is the STS is smarter in that it "senses" when the turn or lane change has been completed and will cancel the signal based on that.

STS has a beta program and, of course, I've already signed up. Although I never got a response email, so I am a little concerned. The beta program is supposed to kick off in March 2016. So if you're interested, head over to their site and sign up.

Obviously if I get in the beta program, I'll share my impressions with you, in accordance with the beta program guidelines. If you get in, let me know...