Video: BMW’s Self-Driving Bike: Can motorcycles really go rider-less?

BMWs new self-driving bike isn't going to hit the streets, anytime soon or even ever, but it opens the door for some interesting conversation on advanced rider aids in motorcycles and how to implement them!

By: | Published: September 17, 2018 4:50 PM

The fact that motorcycles are more dangerous than another vehicle on the road is not something that is new, per say, its a large reason why people prefer the four-wheeled alternative for commuters and road-trips. The question still exists as to whether the renegades of the world would continue this dangerous way of life if this statistic were still to continue while cars got safer and safer. To tackle these unique challenges, motorcycles too would need some sort of rider assistance technology as well. BMW Motorrad understands this problem well and is working hard to overcome these problems before they come home to roost. The recently released footage of the BMW Motorrad's self-driving motorcycle is case in point.

Now, the self-driving motorcycle is not a concept that would catch on among the rebels that buy motorcycles every day to escape the mundane, and BMW know that well. What they have tried to achieve through this bike is a platform for newer artificial intelligence assisted riding aides that could make motorcycle riding safer. The project which is two-years in the making has come to head with this modified BMW 1300 GS which can go around the track on it’s own. Leaning, stopping, and braking all on its own. A testament to how much of the motorcycles environment it is able to control.

It's important to note that this kind of driver assistance features coming into production motorcycles are far in the future. The technology needs to be small, and unobtrusive while still effective. Then there are day to day problems that a motorcycle cannot have, like a car that can be designed to brake on a dime in an emergency, a motorcycle that brakes on a dime might send the rider for a flying toss if he's not prepared for the braking. Every move that the bike makes for that matter outside the riders input could raise new dangers because of the way that motorcycles are dependent on rider inputs.

BMW Motorrad claims that if some of these ideas are brought into play, they may help put a serious dent in the decline of motorcycles sales. Although making this tech scalable will be the next challenge as soon as they figure out how to implement it without putting the rider in additional risks. Given that AIs have been proven to go wrong in more than one instance, maybe just this once BMW can overlook this AI generated hype, and just stick to the good old sense of the rider's gut!

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