Thought self-driving cars were amazing? Well, even they can’t hold a candle to what BMW Motorrad has done.
The motorcycle specialists have just unveiled a bespoke R1200GS that can balance and ride itself without the need for a human rider.
The project has been in the works for more than two years but interestingly, was never created as a potential stepping-stone to a fully-autonomous motorcycle. Instead, BMW Motorrad says it designed the motorcycle in a bid to improve the safety of its future offerings.
The German manufacturer envisions a future motorcycle that will be able to classify a rider’s behavior on a bike and determine a dangerous situation before the rider even knows it. The motorcycle could then inform, warn or even intervene directly to avoid an accident. Features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist could conceivably reach road-going motorcycles thanks to autonomous prototypes like this.
Future BMW motorcycles will be safer than ever before.
BMW isn’t the only motorcycle maker to build an autonomous prototype in recent times. Over the past couple of years, Yamaha has also been developing a bike that rides itself but unlike BMW, its ‘Motobot’ wasn’t focused solely on improving safety of future models. Instead, Yamaha set out to create a self-riding bike that could lap a circuit faster than motorcycling legend Valentino Rossi.
While Yamaha’s Motobot fell well short of matching Rossi around a circuit, the prototype did show just how advanced motorcycles have become in recent years.
While some fear that autonomous technologies could kill the car as we know it, motorcycles are expected to remain rider and enthusiast-oriented for decades to come. After all, why would you sit on a motorcycle that rides itself?