Are driverless motorcycles on the BMW project board?
Maybe, but for now, the motorcycle manufacturer is using its autonomous motorcycle tests to develop technologies to improve the safety for conventional riders.
Is it a cool scooter or a small motorcycle? The new BMW Motorrad Concept, LINK, is designed to be a cross between. By making this motorcycle smaller it is designed to navigate congested city streets like a scooter. The electric drive allows for a lower seat, so you don’t have that driving-on-a-bar-stool posture typical of gas-fed scooters. In addition it has:
A reverse gear, to aid in parking and other scenarios
Under-seat storage for that funky headgear you insisted on getting
Cut-away display for the cool built-in, on-board tech
The growth autonomous vehicles suggests that car drivers have lost of zeal of driving cars. And who can blame us; sitting in traffic on the 101; refereeing a backseat spate between siblings, parallel parking. None of these activities amount to the ZoomZoom we associate (or would like to associate) with driving. Car driving is more chore than a recreation. We like to envision the joy of ‘the open road’ experience as similiar sailing the open seas. However, the pothole congested reality of it is you experience is less sailboat, and more schoolfish..mirthlessly following the other fish..in a dull and narrow stream
Motorcycles, conversely, have always been about the thrill of the ride. The experience begs and rewards independent control. Traffic? So what? Watch that biker cut between lanes like 660 horsepowered knife through butter. Freedom? Certainly more so than their quad-wheeled cousins. But is it safe? Well, there is a reason why helmets are required, and other protection strongly advised. Into this valley between safety and freedom, enters BMW’s vision of future of motorcycling.
Artificial Intelligence = Autonomy, Safety & Sexy* *Although Safe-Autonomous-Sexy makes for a better acronym
BMW’s new concept motorcycle merges some driver assist safety features with a cool sleek sexy look, sure to turn heads.
Welcome the zero-emission, electric powered smartbike of the future; The Motorrad Vision Next 100. This bike’s smart systems will anticipate the road ahead and offer the rider guidance on what to do to manage incident avoidance and can even step in and take over if necessary. The self-balancing system is designed to prevent tip-over both while in motion as well as when standing still.
A ride this safe has little need for a helmet (what!?). Replacing that clunky piece of hardware is a lightweight visor.
This visor not only serves as a windshield, but also overlays important information on the HUD, like anticipated twists and turns, traffic, nearest Wendy’s.
This is a long way from drawing board to road, and no word yet on pricing.