Autonomous cars will one day be part of our roads, it seems as though the idea of seeing self-driving cars one day outnumber actual drivers is an inevitability. Now though even self driving motorbikes are going to be a possibility. Last year, at its Techday event, BMW unveiled its first self-riding motorbike – a riderless BMWR1200 GS.
The seemingly autonomous motorcycle has been developed by engineer Stefan Hans and his team of specialists, and can actually independently ride off, accelerate, and circle a winding test track. It can even kick out a stand before coming to a steady stop.
Despite developing this prototype, BMW have stated that they do not aim to manufacture a fully-autonomous motorcycle. Instead this model has been created with the intention of utilising the underlying technology. Essentially this prototype will serve as a platform for the future development of technology, in order to make motorcycling safer, and more comfortable.
The riderless bike will be able to gather key data in regards to driving dynamics in order to detect potentially dangerous situations early. This technology could then one day help support riders through advanced safety systems, when turning at intersections, or braking suddenly when another road user pulls out in front of them.
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As well as this riderless model, BMW Motorrad have also revealed many more innovative technology projects to further motorcycle safety. From luminous cornering lights to laser headlights, along with a 3D printed motorcycle frame and swingarm. It seems that the 3D printing process has allowed BMW to design components that could not be produced in any other way.
BMW certainly aims to emphasise, with this prototype, how digitisation is slowly changing the future of the motorcycle industry. The company is preparing to cater to the needs of tomorrow’s world of transport through both technical innovation, and the enhancement of safety and comfort for all riders.