Shoot for the moon and probably you’ll end up among the stars, someone said. Well, the exact opposite happened with the German motorcycle manufacturer, BMW Motorrad, or more popularly known as BMW. They aimed to enhance and develop more safety features in motorcycles but ended up making an autonomous motorcycle.
Yep, you read it right. An Autonomous motorcycle! A self-driving car was still tangible from those Bond movies, but this is a real shocker. Let’s get started then.
BMW Motorrad showcased the model R 1200 GS at the BMW Motorrad Techday in 2018 in which the bike smoothly went cruising through an obstacle course, speeding up, slowing down, taking turns and even coming to stop at STOP signs. All of this achieved by mounting the bike with some mind-blowing, top-secret software in its rear. Besides its strong and sturdy look, there is an antenna in the rear which helps to remotely operate the bike with a human-operated controller.
Stefan Hans, a graduate engineer, and his team developed the bike. You can take a look at its brilliance here:
By no means, the Bavarian manufacturer wants to develop a fully automated self-driving motorcycle.
“There is no consumer plan for this bike. This is not going to replace your pizza delivery scooter”, says Michael Peyton, the Vice President of BMW Motorrad, North America. He further added that the aim of this technology is to make bike rides safer and comfortable for its consumers.
It won’t be wrong to conclude that the primary objective of the prototype is to gather additional knowledge regarding driver dynamics to recognize perilous situations early on and aid the rider make safer decisions.
It is indeed an amazing breakthrough. Millions of people die every year due to road accidents and this number can be drastically reduced if this technology is nurtured and developed in the best possible way. The costing is very high for now, but we can never say what happens in the future.
On the other hand, one may raise a question what is the point of riding a bike if it is autonomous, if one doesn’t experience that adrenaline of thrusting the accelerator, that power of the steering, that control of the bike, well, that’s a story for another time.