New Delhi: Rider safety aid in the motorcycling world has seen a meteoric rise in the last couple of years, be it airbag-equipped suits or something outrageous like Bosch's thruster technology. Now, BMW Motorrad seems to have taken it up a notch with its autonomous riding technology.
Yes, you read that right. The folks in BMW Motorrad's engineering department believe self-driving technology cannot be limited only to cars. To prove this, the company showcased a concept of this technology on the BMW R1200 GS. Called ConnectedRide Self-driving concept, the teaser video shows a BMW R1200GS moving by itself. But that's not it. The motorcycle starts by itself, recognizes turns and even brakes by itself in hairy situations. But the even more impressive feat can be seen when the integrated side stands automatically gets deployed when the motorcycle comes to a halt.
While the full extent of engineering that has gone into it is still unknown, the Bavarian bikemaker stated that the project was developed to help engineers in integrating some safety features with the rider's skill. Contrary to what you think, the system still wants the rider to be in control of the bike, while the safety system will merely act parallel to it. If a critical situation does arise, the system will warn, inform the rider, and if need be, directly intervene in the scenario.
As we mentioned earlier, BMW has been mum about how the technology actually works. But from what we can guess, the prototype seems to be using a steering actuator motor, while throttle, clutch and gear inputs are handled via a sensor. The technology being in its infancy, there's still a lot of time before we see a self-driving motorcycle become a normal thing. Until then, let us know your thoughts below.