BMW’s autonomous R 1200 GS motorcycle is a safety equipment testbed

Galtero Lara
Setiembre 14, 2018

But what about motorcycles?

BMW said it doesn't intend to sell a fully-autonomous motorcycle, but built one to better understand the dynamics of a two wheeler and use that information to optimize the safety systems, which could end up on a production model soon. It even handles turns and braking to a full stop, and it props itself up without spilling over.

Although self-driving auto technology has the potential to save millions of lives on an annual basis (despite a handful of unfortunate incidents), it's arguably not the form of transportation that poses the biggest risks to riders. However, because of the C1's partially closed cockpit, watching it ride around the track without someone in the saddle wasn't as unsettling as watching BMW's latest contribution to the self-driving realm go. Consider it a step above Honda's Riding Assist Concept, which helps keep the motorcycle's balance at low speeds.

BMW’s autonomous R 1200 GS motorcycle is a safety equipment testbed
BMW’s autonomous R 1200 GS motorcycle is a safety equipment testbed

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.

Specifically, the technology could prove very useful at intersections or during hard braking events. This will help them understand what kind of safety measures they should adopt for the future bikes. But the even more impressive feat can be seen when the integrated side stands automatically gets deployed when the motorcycle comes to a halt. BMW promises it has no intention to take away riders' freedoms, but a safer motorcycle never sounds like a poor idea. Watch the testing for yourself in the video above, and know it's not a ghost aboard the bike; it's simply self-riding technology.

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