Quick response in case of road accidents or emergencies can be crucial to the survival of those involved, and BMW wants to make motorcyclists as safe as car drivers.

BMW Motorrad crafted an optional "Intelligent Emergency Call (IEC)" system that is able to quickly summon help to the scene of a road accident or emergency.

In the case of car or truck drivers, the need for quick help request was met some time ago, via services such as OnStar. Bikers did not have this option, but they now have reasons to rejoice at the introduction of the IEC, which should increase road safety for them as well. Not only will the system be embedded into one's motorcycle, but there is also a level of flexibility to it.

IEC works by tapping into sensors for acceleration and lean angle. The system recognizes when your bike falls or crashes and how bad the experience was. Then it triggers different responses. Should the crash be serious, the system sends your ride's position with a distress call.

The system reacts differently in three scenarios.

Scenario 1: The signal goes off in case of a critical fall / collision.

Should the system detect a significant fall or collision has occurred, a message reaches a BMW Call Center immediately. Until the emergency service gets to the scene, the rider remains in constant contact with BMW's Call Center. Even if the motorcyclist does not respond (as when the person may be badly injured), help is sent out anyway. A visual and an audio cue indicate that the emergency service was hailed and on the way. For this level of alert, riders are unable to cancel the emergency call.

Scenario 2: The signal activates automatically when a minor fall / collision occurs.

After the accident, riders get 25 seconds to call off the warning. By pressing a button, the BMW Call Center is notified that no emergency crew is required. If the motorcyclist does not cancel the signal, the scenario 1 applies: the instrument cluster displays a visual reminder that an eCall was launched, and an acoustic signal is there as well.

Scenario 3: The signal requires manual triggering.

By pressing the SOS button on the right handlebar end, riders are able to call help in for other road users.

The SOS sends out an alert to a BMW Call Center, and a voice call starts to assess the situation. It should be noted that the voice connection is a must, in case the eCall was triggered manually. This scenario also allows for the canceling of the eCall, by pressing a button or by turning off the ignition. This means that the emergency call works on manual mode only when the bike is stationary and its ignition is on.

The system is calibrated in such a way that no false alarms are in store. The calls will not be dispatched in non-emergency situations, such as low-speed falls or when riding over potholes.

It will take a bit of time before BMW's emergency call system reaches the United States, though.

IEC is scheduled for launch in Germany during the beginning of 2017, with other European countries in tow.

Just last year, a consortium of three motorcycle manufacturers (including BMW) entered a partnership aimed at increasing motorcycle safety. Read all about it in our coverage about two-wheeler road security.

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