WHILE IT WON'T save t-shirt-clad scooter riders from losing a few layers of flesh, BMW's C1-E Concept - based on the European-market C1 - could at least save their lives in a more serious accident.
Equipped with a seat belt, front and rear impact zones, a full roll-bar and low centre of gravity, the C1-E has been designed for "optimum safety and practicality" in an urban environment.
Joining the more obvious safety features are anti-lock brakes, tyre pressure control, anti-slip control and traction control - features that many small cars still do not offer as standard.
Powered entirely by an electric motor sourced from the recently-bankrupt Vectrix, fed by a lithium-ion battery pack, the C1-E would seem to be both 'safe' and 'environmentally-sound' (not a bad double in the current climate).
BMW says the C1-E has been designed to also accommodate a conventional petrol engine instead of the electric motor, if market conditions demand it.
For the future, BMW is researching forward-looking rider assistance systems not unlike the infra-red alert systems available in some cars today.
These can trigger dynamic safety evasive systems or warn the driver of impending weather hazards, road obstacles, sudden braking and traffic light alerts.