Watch BMW's self-riding motorcycle in action

The inner workings of the self riding bike

After all, all they have to do is go, stop and steer, right?

Now, you might wonder what the point of a self-driving motorcycle is, as what the hell is the point of a vehicle driving on its own without a single passenger? The goal of the prototype is to gain additional knowledge relating to the driving dynamics in order to detect risky situations prematurely and support the driver with appropriate safety systems for example, turning at intersections or when braking suddenly. Instead, the technology behind BMW's autonomous bike will be used to as a basis for developing systems and functions to improve motorcycle safety. The company has developed its own self-driving bike, hoping to take the lessons it learns from the project to integrate driving assistance technology into its future motorcycles. "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".

BMW GS series adventure bikes like the R1200 are more common than Harleys here in Colorado, and the bulk of them only get ridden once in a blue moon to the coffee shop on a Saturday morning and then back home. Interestingly BMW says it "is by no means aiming for a completely independent motorbike".

The prototype bike also features a number of other innovations adapted from its passenger vehicle division, such as laser headlights that project further down the road than regular beams, while its frame was manufactured using a 3D printing process. The advantage of 3D printing lies in the complete freedom of designing components that could not be produced in any other way.

To conclude, BMW Motorrad has demonstrated how the rapid pace of digitization will change the future of motorcycling. Here is another way BMW Motorrad benefits from close cooperation with BMW Automobiles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a report calling for the deployment of more electronic motorcycle safety tech.

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