To many, autonomous cars are very, very scary. When compared to a self-riding motorcycle, however, cars that drive themselves seem exceptionally safe and comforting.
Leading bike manufacturers have been working on self-riding prototypes for a number of years now, including Yamaha with its racer designed to be faster than Valentino Rossi. Back in September 2018, BMW threw its hat into the race with the unveiling of a bespoke R1200GS that can be controlled without a human rider. The world recently had a chance to see the spooky bike at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
After checking out the clip below, you may ask yourself, who in the world would ride an autonomous motorcycle? Whereas self-driving cars can easily and safely ferry passengers around in comfort, sitting on a motorcycle that operates itself holds absolutely no appeal. Fortunately, BMW doesn’t intend on bringing such a bike to production.
Instead, BMW says that exceptionally advanced R1200GS has been developed to improve the safety features of upcoming models. According to the company, future technologies will allow its motorcycles to classify a rider’s behavior and determine a dangerous situation before anything happens. If needed, the motorcycle could inform or warn the rider and in dire situations, even intervene to avoid an accident.
Slightly more conventional systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist could also be used by bikes next decade.
For the most part, BMW’s self-riding R1200GS looks like a relatively normal bike. However, the bike features side panniers laden with computers to ensure the prototype doesn’t topple over and is actually able to control itself.