BMW Motorrad previews autonomous bike

Marco Green
September 14, 2018

As odd as it is to see an autonomous vehicle cruising with no driver it's stranger still to see a motorcycle cruising with no one at the controls. Nearly never does one think about an autonomous motorcycle. The folks in BMW Motorrad's engineering department believe self-driving technology can not be limited only to cars. And they've created one out of a BMW R 1200 GS. The bike itself is a BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS adventure bike. There, the bike drove off, accelerated, drove through the winding test track and then came to a stop, entirely on its own.

It's really quite remarkable, as typically a motorcycle needs a rider to balance the bike. Well, the entire goal of this exercise is to create new autonomous safety systems for motorcycles. It will be tested to discover more about unsafe situations and the appropriate safety tech to support the ride in those.

BMW also anticipates the adoption of V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communication - where computers talk to each other, and potentially infrastucture like traffic lights - to avoid collisions and keep motorcycle riders safe among heavy traffic. Motorcycles lack all of the safety mechanisms even cheap full-sized cars have, and no matter how safe they might drive, reckless fellow drivers are far more unsafe to them due to the lack of exterior shielding. So the bike could be summoned to your front door or even the front door of your office or place of work.

BMW has developed its own self-driving motorcycle
BMW Motorrad creates autonomous BMW R 1200 GS

Earlier in the summer, we reported on the autonomous "bike": a self-riding BMW C1 that had been fitted with a flight of detection systems and mechanisms that was able to help the engineers safely put autonomous auto technologies to the test without putting an actual rider at risk.

The prototype machine was developed by graduate engineer, Stefan Hans, and his team and can accelerate away from a standstill, turn corners and stop without a rider on board.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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