Europe – Italy – Blue Screen -The FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) Europe reports that its 23rd Europe Congress in Rome (Italy) hosted the 11th edition of their Road Safety Conference on the 29th June 2017.
The conference took place a month ago so you may be wondering why are we reporting now as the moment has passed. To answer your curiosity, our little Sony laptop which has travelled round Europe – by plane – by boat – by train and by motorcycle, finally seemed to give up the ghost and threw up the blue screen of death.
Of course we had backed up files and information but not the previous month’s worth of data, email access etc etc needed for the smooth operation of Motorcycle Minds. We were out of the saddle stranded at the side of our information Highway, simply getting home in “limp mode” just like a modern day motorcycle.
Thankfully we traced down a retired IT Technician and with a data cable from China via ebay, we may be fully back in business.
As the main theme of the FIM Road Safety Conference was Sharing the road with Robots: When Motorcycle Meets Automation, we can only wonder what happens when this automation goes Blue Screen.
Like one of our previous bikes a 2008 – BMW R1200 Adventure – the electronics failed (ring antenna) at the side of the road. Although with our connected phone we could look up on the internet what the problem was, there was nothing we could do (Emergency Ring Antenna Replacement) but be eventually relayed back to the house, then from there to the dealership, all under warranty.
Most unlike some of our previous “Luddite” bikes from the past, where points could be adjusted, carbs taken apart, “whiskered” spark plugs easily reached, two stroke twin ridden home on one cylinder after holing one piston, even headlight bulbs easily changed. Those are the days that parts of we are glad do not exist, thankful that there are dedicated riders preserving that motorcycling history and those out of necessity or financial restraints who continue to operate older bikes.
So let’s hope from the conference that the Senior Advisor of the “Connected Motorcycling Consortium” –www.cmc-info.net – which is, “A non-profit organisation established by key OEM’s with the unilateral goal to promote and develop Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) to benefit all stakeholders and enhance rider safety” is right that the worry of the motorcycling community of autonomous driving cars that cannot properly recognise motorcycles, is less worrying than we could expect.
So no Blue Screens please, whether on our bikes, on other vehicles or connected together.
The Road Safety Conference
In previous years, the Road Safety Conference dealt with road accidents, industry responses and initiatives, the systems to improve Road Safety, traumatic injuries and first aid, 2 wheeler behaviour and safety, roadside barriers and crash tests, and devices derived from track, such as airbag for motorcyclists.
Last year, the Road Safety Conference dealt with themes related with the development of electronics and technology.
All these issues can be seen on FIM-Europe website: The FIM Europe Road Safety Conference
The main focus at this year’s conference dealt with Sharing the road with Robots: When Motorcycle Meets Automation.
The theme of this year raised a lot of interest with the presentations of high level experts. The presence of European Parliament Member Mr Wim van de Camp has also been highly appreciated.
The conference was held under the auspices of Silvio Manicardi, FIM Europe second Deputy President, and of Jean-Pierre Moreau, Chairman of Public Affairs Commission, who opened the event with a welcome speech.
The agenda of the conference foresaw as first speech a brief presentation of a couple of issues that interest the motorcycle world and which under discussion in Brussels by John Chatterton-Ross, FIM and FIM Europe Director of Public Affairs. The first topic he dealt with is the Vnuk case: the case has nothing to do with motorcycle or motor sports. Mr Vnuk was injured in a fall from a ladder in a farmyard when the ladder was struck by a trailer pulled by a tractor – an industrial accident.
The European Court of Justice decided to award Mr Vnuk legal protection by extending the scope of the Motor Insurance Directive. There is no appeal because the ECJ is the highest court in the European Union.
In framing their judgment the Justices extended the scope to the point where many other activities (including motorcycle and motorsports) are now affected.
The second topic Mr Chatterton-Ross faced with is that of motorcycles clothing for everyday use: from 2018, in fact, there will be a new European law that will control the standard of protective clothes. Mr Chatterton-Ross ended his speech with a special thanks to a colleague from Norway, Mr Morten Hansen, who is retiring at the end of this year.
The conference entered in its hot part with Frederic Soudain, Logos Public Affairs: “5GAA vehicles manufacturers and telecom industry Consortium”. In the future of autonomous mobility communication in between all users of the road will be a major task: 5G will be much more than mobile broadband connectivity, covering a variety of use-cases and industries. One of the most interesting 5G use-cases is V2X (vehicle to X), the framework that will allow vehicles to communicate with each other and beyond. The majority of communication and electronic industries are involved in this multimillion project.
Hennes Fischer, Senior Advisor, Yamaha, CMC Steering Committee Member talked about “Connected Motorcycling Consortium”: the motorcycle community is worried about the possible implementation of autonomous driving cars that cannot properly recognise motorcycles. Hennes Fischer was present, who is part of the consortium that takes care exactly about this aspect and he presented the actual situation that is less worrying than we could expect.
Antonio Erario, Head of International Regulatory Affairs, Italian Ministry of Infrastructures, talked about “The Italian position as biggest market of PTW in Europe”. Mr. Erario explained the work of WP29 showing that the target to have full autonomous cars is the very near 2030. A lot of work is done to amend legislations starting from the Vienna Convention to adapt to the new traffic conditions which where not forecasted in the past.
At the end, Mr Wim Van de Camp, MEP European Parliament, talked about the “The European Parliament position”. Mr Van de Camp explained all aspects of the Parliament work that are of interest to motorcycling, including objectives and orientation, challenges, sustainability, urban mobility, innovation, trade and road safety. In particular regarding this subject, the Valletta declaration is important, with its target to further reduce the deaths to 20.000 by 2020.
The full presentations of the Conference are published on the FIM Europe website in “Beyond Sport”/Public Affairs section
The video of the live streaming of the conference