You have seen plenty of self-driving cars by now. Public trials are even being conducted in many cities across the globe as the world moves towards a future where cars will be able to drive themselves without requiring any input from us. The same can also be said for motorcycles, as BMW has proven with new footage of its self-driving motorcycle.
German auto giant BMW is actually not the only company that has showcased a concept of a motorcycle that’s capable of riding on its own. Yamaha has revealed something similar with the Motorbot.
BMW has been working on autonomous motorcycle technology for the past few years and it has now revealed footage of an R1200GS bike that’s making its way around a test track all by itself. Self-driving cars don’t look eerie doing this but a motorcycle certainly does.
Some technical limitations still need to be worked out. The bike can’t start itself so someone has to get on it and balance the bike before it can go on its way. Once it’s driving itself, the bike can manage the throttle, clutch, gears, and brake all on its own while steering itself after analyzing the track in front of it.
BMW has clarified that its goal with this test is not to develop bikes that can drive themselves. This platform will actually be used to understand the dynamics of motorcycle riding so that BMW can develop active safety measures that it can offer on future models.
“In this project, it was not our goal to develop a fully automated motorcycle. We want to improve motorcycle safety. It’s the proof that the underlying dynamic model is detailed enough to cope with the whole riding dynamics, so we can use that knowledge to develop further comfort and safety systems,” says BMW’s Stefan Hans.
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