Ducati has announced plans to have onboard radar on some of its motorcycles by 2020, as part of an effort to include updated safety features in the lineup.
The idea of the radar is that an onboard safety system will use the collected data to detect vehicles in the bike’s blind spots, but also scan forward to analyze traffic patterns, alerting the rider to potential crashes. Ducati worked in conjuction with Politecnico di Milano University to develop the system.
It’s all part of a move by Ducati to build safer bikes, an initiative called 2025 Safety Road Map. Ducati also plans to have cornering ABS on all its motorcycles in the future (currently, cornering ABS is only available on select models). In theory, the integrated Dainese airbag system available on the Multistrada 1260 D|air (not in North America, for now) will also be available on other models.
It might sound a bit of a different ploy for Ducati, building bikes focused on safety when the company’s traditional image has been sport-oriented machines. But BMW and KTM have both been emphasizing similar safety programs in recent years, and it certainly hasn’t seemed to have hurt their reputation for performance. The reality is that increasing safety regulations are coming for motorcycles in Europe (soon, ABS is going to be a requirement for most bikes, not a luxury). Ducati’s smart to get ahead of those changes, and keep up with the competitors.