BMW C1-E: concept for a higher level of safety in the city.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Oct. 6, 2009
The BMW C1-E Concept
This is what a safe, environmentally friendly and highly practical scooter for city traffic could look like in the future. BMW Motorrad developed the C1-E study for the European safety project eSUM. This study vehicle is based on the BMW C1 concept which includes a high level of active and passive safety features and driven by an electric motor.
The BMW C1-E provides a safety cell with the conspicuous roll-over bar which dynamically spans the rider seat in combination with the energy-absorbing impact element at the nose end. A further special point is that the C1-E rider wears a 3-point seat-belt.
Visually, the C1-E concept distinguishes itself from typical scooter with the overhead roll bar, large windscreen, luggage space behind the rider and the side stand for effortless parking.
The electric motor employed has been designed for city use and is based on components by the company Vectrix. The motor obtains its power from a Li-Ion battery with sufficient power for most inner-city riding. Alternatively the vehicle could also be equipped with an efficient, low-emissions internal combustion engine but who would want that
The safety features of the C1-E were taken from the former BMW C1 and further enhanced. BMW's avant-garde two-wheeler is regarded as a milestone in two-wheel safety. Through its safety cel like design, it is the only motorcycle exempt from mandatory helmet wearing in almost every European country.
Unfortunately, this BMW is not currently planned for production. Nevertheless, findings from the project will find their way into future developments in the motorcycle field.
eSUM stands for European Safer Urban Motorcycling. It is a cooperation project between major urban European motorcycling centers and motorcycle manufacturers. The cities currently involved in the project include Paris, Rome, Barcelona and London and the manufacturers are BMW and Piaggio.
The advantage of two-wheeled transportation is that it offers a great opportunity for improving the flow of traffic in urban locations. Moreover, it can be environmentally friendly. Unfortunately, the vast majority of motorcycle accidents occur in urban traffic where 80 percent of the population live. The idea behind eSum is to look into ways of countering this trend with the goal to identify, develop and demonstrate measures which can guarantee safe motorcycle and motor-scooter transport in the inner-city.
One of BMW Motorrad's major concerns over the last twenty years has been the improvement of motorcycle safety. Practicing what it preaches, the 1,000,000th BMW motorcycle with Integral ABS, a BMW K 1300 R, left the production line in Berlin-Spandau in this past August.
Since 2005, a series of further active safety features have been developed to enhance the safety BMW motorcycles still further: Tire Pressure Control, ASC Anti-Slip Control, the new Race ABS and the DTC Traction Control incorporated in the new BMW S 1000 RR, not to mention the innovative range of BMW Motorrad rider equipment.
BMW Motorrad is continuing research into forward-looking rider assistance systems designed to increased road safety, as part of the ConnectedRide project. Features being looked at include cross-traffic and traffic-light assistance as well as a warning system for impending poor weather, road obstacles, an approaching emergency vehicle, or sudden braking maneuvers.