Polaris Industries, the conglomerate behind both Indian and Victory motorcycles, debuted a touch screen that some motorcycles will feature. The touch screen, called the “Ride Command,” has the ability to give directions, sync to a smart phone, and even alert riders to landmarks like gas stations.
The Ride Command screen will be placed between the handlebars so that riders can easily see it. It will come standard on new Indian Cheftain and Roadmaster motorcycles. These two makes account for roughly half of the Indian’s sales.
Both BMW and Harley-Davidson have already released motorcycles that feature a flat screen navigator. BMW came out with its navigator V in 2013, while Harley-Davidson released its Boom! Box system the following year. Samsung has also come out with a prototype “smart windshield.”
The screens raise concerns about distracted driving. After all, a touch screen with internet access can be, to put it lightly, addictive. And one that syncs up to a cell phone and can display text messages, e-mails, and other cellular notifications could enable unsafe driving.
However, advocates of the screen assure doubters that the screens can improve motorcycle safety rather than increase danger. The system’s GPS could safely guide motorcyclists through traffic and alert riders to bad road and weather conditions. Furthermore, the Ride Command can give riders important maintenance alerts such as flat tires and low fuel.