Watch the bizarre sight of BMW Motorrad's self-riding motorcycle
13 September 2018 - Autoblog
The bike can start, turn and come to a stop without assistance
BMW Motorrad made a motorcycle that "rides" itself, and it's ... well, it's creepy. We've all seen autonomous cars before, but this riderless bike is on another level. Just watch it take off, lean into turns and even deploy the kickstand as it comes to a stop. It's mesmerizing.
One might wonder why BMW would ever waste its time developing an autonomous motorcycle. Well, there's an answer for that. BMW says it's all about safety and increasing its understanding of a bike's dynamics. Once it's able to classify a rider's behavior on a bike, a future BMW motorcycle might be able to determine if a situation is dangerous before the rider even knows it. Once assessed, the bike could "inform, warn or intervene directly," says Stefan Hans, a Motorrad safety engineer.
Motorcycle driving assistance systems lag behind what is offered on four-wheel transportation these days. This two-year project was designed for further development in that area, but not to create an autonomous motorcycle for production, Motorrad says. Still, it's pretty incredible what BMW was able to accomplish with its R1200GS riding around robo-cycle style. Maybe tech like adaptive cruise control or lane-keeping assist isn't too far away from those riding on two wheels after all.