BMW's self-driving motorcycle isn't as scary as you might think

BMW RGS Autonomous

But what about motorcycles?

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. Part of the "ConnectedRide" program, the motorcycle starts its own engine, sets off, rides on its own without any assistance.

This week BMW Motorrad - the motorcycle division of the German auto company - showed a prototype driverless bike on a test track accelerating, navigating curves, and braking all on its own.

The technology in development could one day help riders determine at an early stage if a situation will become unsafe and enable dynamic control programs to show the safest ways around those obstacles.

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Although self-driving vehicle 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. These bikes are normally festooned with panniers for holding gear and clothing when you see them cruising the roads.

Specifically, the technology could prove very useful at intersections or during hard braking events. Outlook on the future of motorcycle safety and technology in Miramas.

BMW Motorrad has unveiled an autonomous motorcycle that is cooler than most of the autonomous cars that are out there. This will help them understand what kind of safety measures they should adopt for the future bikes. Admittedly, both Honda and BMW have shown off self-balancing bike tech, where the tires turn back and forth a bit, constantly, to keep it balanced and upright.

BMW's goal isn't to develop and sell autonomous motorcycles, though.

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