New Safety Technology is Coming
by – Klaus Rasch
The Kurt Caselli Foundation in conjunction with Volocore is bringing us new technology to make off-road racing safer.
They have recently been testing a type of Pass Alert system that lets bikes and cars alert each other to their presence. In desert racing blinding dust is one of the challenges a racer has to overcome. You may follow another racers closely in thick dust and the only way to make that sand wall in front of you go away is to drive right through it blindly and get in front of your competitor. Another problem that drivers have to deal with is without any wind the dust just lingers on the course and visibility gets majorly reduced even though there may not be another vehicle right on front of you.
What Volcore is testing in this video is a system that aids in those situation and even sends automatic alerts to approaching vehicles via radio frequencies.
We can’t wait to see the development of this product continue and racers using this and other technologies at future races.
The Kurt Caselli Foundation mission is to make bike riding safer, progress like this is what will keep us racing safer into the future.
Volocore issued this press release:
Lucerne Valley, CA — The team at Volocore have invented a new safety messaging and tracking system that allows racers, support crew, and race organizers know what’s going on with a racer and their vehicle. The system uses accelerometers in conjunction with radio and satellite technologies to transmit crash and dangerous situation metrics back to the right people. They conducted a tests in the California desert with the Kurt Caselli Foundation and Ivan Ramirez from team KTM off-road with the goal of demonstrating the pass alert feature and crash roll-over reporting.
For the pass alert tests, the system has options for both automatic and manual pass alerts, where the system knows which type of vehicles are approaching each other. The race promoter will control who receives automatic alerts, for example a trophy truck overtaking a sportsman motorcycle, as well as give the option for a racer initiated alert. The co-driver or drive can press a button and alert the slower vehicle the impending pass, giving the slower vehicle time to safely get out of the way.
The system works by measuring the vehicle’s performance and location wherever it goes, be it pre-running, testing, or race day, and transmits back the vehicle’s current status. When a crash occurs, be it a tip over or a more serious roll-over or high speed crash, the vehicle’s position and crash data is transmitted to passing vehicles as well as to a central location via satellite to determine the location and severity of the crash.
“These tests are going to fundamentally change safety in remote off-road racing” said Volocore co-founder JP Dupin. “Our goal is to not only increase the accuracy of location of vehicles as well as add a critical safety aspect that has been missing since Baja racing started in the 60s.
“We took a perfectly good motorcycle, strapped several sensors to it, and pinned the throttle. The KTM 450 EXC just rocketed into the desert”, said Volocore founder Brad Baker. The tests attempted to gather as much data as possible on different types of crashes and scenarios which are common to off-road; low-sides, high-sides, swaps, flips, basically every time of crash common in the off-road world. During the testing the data was recorded on the bike as well as transmitting it back to a base station.
Volocore is committed to bringing the product to market in 2015, with production model testing currently ongoing. Contact [email protected] for more information or to schedule an interview.