A couple of years ago, Yamaha made the bold proclamation that it would create an autonomous Yamaha R1M that could beat Valentino Rossi around a racetrack.
Well, that hasn’t happened, with Yamaha publishing a video that shows Rossi lapping the 2-mile Thunderhill Raceway Park more than 30 seconds faster than the ‘Motobot’. Even still, the robotic bike is pretty amazing.
Sitting atop a mechanically-stock R1M is the Motobot which somewhat resembles a human hunched over the gas tank of a motorcycle. It uses a host of sensors and has fine control over everything from the throttle, brakes and clutch to the steering and gearshift inputs.
Unfortunately for Motobot, it is fixed in place on the sports bike’s seat. By comparison, a human rider, especially one as skilled as Rossi, continually shifts their body weight when riding, ensuring that they get the most out of the mechanical grip available. Motobot cannot do this.
However, it doesn’t seem as though Yamaha is giving up with it saying “the ride shall continue” at the end of the clip.