VIDEO: BMW Reveals Ghost Rider Bike – It Starts, Rides and Brakes, All By Itself
So, this story is not really as dramatic as the title suggests and the video below is even less so. But the German automaker’s motorcycle division, BMW Motorrad, has released a video showing a self-driving version of its R1200GS, and it is exciting (yes, we find technology titillating) for very practical purposes – ie. safety.
Cars are already being packed with a host of autonomous and safety features, but the motorcycle has yet to enjoy the same.
Where we come from, two-wheelers are a common mode of transportation; motorcycles make up a small percentage of total vehicles involved in accidents, yet their riders suffer the highest percentage of fatalities. Read: Why Are Malaysian Roads So Deadly?
Considering that motorcycles offer less protection to its riders, they would stand to benefit much more from the burgeoning development in driver assistance tech that we are seeing today. Which seems to be what those clever engineers at BMW Motorrad’s thought as well. They spent over two years working on the autonomous tech for the BMW motorcycle, and have “taught” it how to start, accelerate, lean into turns and apply its own brakes, all by itself.
Watch what they have to say about it:
What a clever motorcycle it is.
If you want to get one to scare your neighbours in a modern-day enactment of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, you are going to be disappointed. The motorcycle is not for sale, but is a prototype for the company to study how it can implement these safety features in their future models.
Just like how our cars now can help us avoid an accident, the autonomous motorcycle can provide better stability and help distracted riders avoid from getting into dangerous situations.
While the company does not reveal the details of the technologies used, there are most likely cameras, sensors, Lidar, AI programming and a maybe a gyroscope (or two) thrown in there.
Read about the founder of Lidar: This 22-Year-Old Gives Incredible “Sight” to Driverless Cars.