BMW showcases self-riding R1200 GS at CES 2019: Here’s why BMW built a bike that doesn’t need a rider

It was in September last year when BMW Motorrad quietly released a video of an R1250 GS riding on a racetrack without a rider. It was rather weird to watch but deeply impressive. But why did BMW build it?

By: | Published: January 10, 2019 3:15 PM

BMW Motorrad have marked their presence at this year's CES electronics show in Las Vegas by showcasing the R1250 GS which does not need a rider to stay upright, accelerate, turn, come to a stop or to slide out the stand and rest on it. It was in September last year when BMW Motorrad quietly released a video of an R1250 GS riding on a racetrack without a rider. It was rather weird to watch but deeply impressive. However, why did BMW build a bike that needs no rider?

BMW Motorrad have made it clear that the autonomous motorcycle is not aimed as a product that will launch in the market but as a testing ground for developing rider assistance systems to enhance safety on motorcycles – systems that will be featured on BMW bikes in the new future.

The self-riding BMW motorcycle has been under development for only about three years and a lot of the tech used on it already features on BMW Motorrad's current crop of bikes, such as the advanced gyroscope that helps the bike determine the exact angle of lean.

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According to BMW, such advanced rider-assistance systems will become mandatory in the future. The tech honed on the autonomous R1250 GS will not ride the motorcycle for the rider but help young riders with being safe their new bikes. With the new tech features, more and more riders will be able to use the bike closer to its limits of high-performance.

While the matter of self-driving cars is becoming a rage across the automotive scenario across the world, some are of the opinion that a self-driving car would take all the joy out of the driving experience. A self-riding motorcycle would all the more sound very wrong to many, especially to motorcycle enthusiasts. This crop will not be happy about a bike that rides on its own. Most of the reason of why a rider buys a motorcycle is that he/she wants to ride it on their own.

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