Auto Tech

Visteon gives motorcycles navigation, communication at CES 2015

Automotive supplier Visteon makes advanced connected dashboard systems for cars, and is now showing off a system for motorcycles that gives riders navigation and communication.

Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Visteon Motorcyle Connected Instrument Cluster
Visteon's Motorcyle Connected Instrument Cluster concept would give riders navigation and other infotainment features currently enjoyed by motorists. Wayne Cunningham/CNET

LAS VEGAS -- Over the last decade, electronic advances in car dashboards have enabled turn-by-turn directions, hands-free phone calls and digital music sources, but motorcycles have been largely left out of the picture. At the International CES 2015, automotive supplier Visteon showed off a concept that safely gives motorcyclists many of these same features.

The concept integrates a display on the motorcycle cluster, the helmet and the rider's own smartphone. The monochrome display, next to the speedometer, shows simple turn directions, giving riders the benefit of navigation without having to stop and consult a map.

Rather than putting the brains in the instrument cluster, the system relies on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone running a special app. The app includes navigation, access to the phone's music library or music streams, and hands-free phone calls. For offboard use, the app adds a vehicle-finder function and the ability to program in destinations. The cluster concept includes a convenient mounting bracket for the phone.

The helmet adds a simple Bluetooth audio connection, letting the rider use voice command to control the app functions. Likewise, the rider could listen to music, take calls and hear navigation voice prompts through the hands-free Bluetooth system.

A system such as this would most likely be aimed at cruiser or touring bikes. As a concept, there is no definite timeline when this system might hit the streets, and Visteon announced no clients at the show.

Visteon Motorcyle Connected Instrument Cluster
The "brains" of this concept reside on the rider's smartphone, which connects to the cluster through an app. Wayne Cunningham/CNET