Bosch has revealed the world’s first dedicated motorcycle split screen display, a 10.25-inch widescreen that will make its debut on the 2021 BMW R 1250 RT sport-touring machine. Bosch claims the new TFT screen, which can simultaneously display two independent portions such as navigation and a gauge cluster (top), will provide both greater safety and convenience. A new Bosch-developed smartphone app pairs with the display to help leverage the new technology.
Freely programmable simultaneous split-screen displays already are common in automotive applications, with many able to seamlessly integrate content from smartphone applications. According to a Bosch survey that queried 2,600 motorcyclists, eight out of ten riders would welcome this function on a bike, which Bosch will provide via its mySPIN platform. “Our clusters in combination with mySPIN offer a new riding experience with more safety and convenience for motorcycle riders,” said Geoff Liersch, president of the two-wheeler and powersports unit at Bosch. “For us, this is the next step in terms of connectivity for motorcycles.”
According to Bosch, the new display will reduce distraction by permitting riders to keep more relevant information in constant view, requiring less time alternating between common screens such as vehicle data and navigation. Information sent to the display via the smartphone app is automatically adapted to the aspect ratio of the apportioned section of the screen. Key rider information, such as speed or safety warnings, remains visible at all times.
First application: BMW
The 2021 BMW R 1250 RT will be the first OEM application of the new Bosch screen, with the sport-touring stalwart taking keen advantage of the new display’s expanded real estate. On the RT, integrated map-based navigation and advanced connectivity options are part of the standard package, making the RT the first production bike able to display a full-color navigation map in the instrument cluster.
BMW will offer a connection option on the RT that features a dedicated, weather-proof smartphone storage compartment and the space is ventilated by an electric fan to keep phones within their operating-temperature range when charging and running data-intensive connected apps. The compartment will feature both inductive charging and a USB port to keep phones topped off.
Leveraging the app
Though the large new display has only been announced for the BMW RT, a number of manufacturers plan to leverage the Bosch mySPIN platform. Kawasaki announced it will have a mySPIN-based riding app in 2021 and Ducati has already introduced a Bosch 6.5-inch mySPIN display (minus split-screen abilities) on its new Multistrada V4. “We want motorcyclists to be able to access smartphone content in an integrated and easy way while riding their bike,” said Vincenzo De Silvio, R&D director at Ducati. “With the mySPIN platform and integrated connectivity cluster, we have found the right way to do it.”
According to the Bosch survey, nearly 90% of riders use their smartphone to prepare or follow-up on trips. A third of those polled admitted to using their smartphone while riding (!!). Bosch noted that the key development goal for the mySPIN integrated solution was to find a way to make using smartphone content safer and more convenient. Making its motorcycle-segment debut, the platform first appeared in 2018 in personal watercraft and ATVs from the BRP brand.
Bosch’s platform permits access to a number of rider-specific apps, which it noted will continue to expand on a global basis. Partners include: REVER, which lets riders download, track and share routes within the app community; Genius Maps and Sygic, which can help provide directions to nearby lodging or restaurants; and Dash Radio to provide free access to digital radio stations.