Have you got your Skully helmet yet? Of course you don’t, their release date was pushed back yet again. BMW Motorrad may even end up beating them to the punch as they’re showcasing their own heads up display system in Las Vegas at CES starting tomorrow. And unlike Skully, BMW actually has a history in the helmet business.
Like many of the other HUD systems that have been touted (or actually available for purchase), BMW’s system provides a wide range of data to riders, including tyre pressures, speed, oil and fuel levels and so forth. However, what BMW is bringing to the table that others aren’t able to match is their technology already found in their range of cars.
By means of the future V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) communication, it might also be possible to display information in real time, for example to give due warning of any suddenly impending hazards. But in there here and now, BMW is proposing that the helmet be able to identify speed limit signs and road hazards to alert the rider.
One thing that has many riders dubious about HUDs is their safety. Is having information in the rider’s field of view helpful or detrimental to motorcyclist safety? There’s certainly no firm data on that yet but if BMW is going down the route of motorcycle HUDs then they potentially see the safety benefits of it.
The helmet, which is also fitted with an integrated mini-computer and loudspeakers, is controlled from the left-hand handlebar fittings using the BMW Motorrad multicontroller. As well as operating the camera, this allows the rider to comfortably select the information he requires.
The necessary information display technology can be integrated in existing helmets, without affecting either wearer comfort or rider safety. The operating time of the system with the two replaceable batteries is around five hours.
BMW Motorrad wants to develop this innovative technology to series-production level within the next few years, thus adding a further safety feature to its already wide range of rider equipment. Just in time perhaps to beat Skully to the market…