BMW’s Self-Riding Motorcycle Will Mess With Your Mind

The inner workings of the self riding bike

BMW has developed its own self-driving motorcycle

Self-driving cars are pretty cool, but they aren't always that impressive. I often wonder why with all the tech out there today, no one has shoehorned autonomy into a classic Bug.

At the BMW Motorrad Techday 2018 in France last week, the bike builder showed journalists a version of the R 1200 GS that does all the riding on its own. As with the development of its autonomous motorcycles, BMW Motorrad here too has utilised synergies with BMW automobiles - this manufacturing process has already made its way into series production for various vehicles.

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Yep, here's a bike that doesn't require a rider. The bike was developed by a team lead by graduate engineer Stefan Hans, and features other technical innovations like a 3D printed frame and carbon components derived from BMW's motorcycle racing division. It tends to be somewhat thwarting at first to see a motorcycle approach its own particular business without a rider.

If you thought motorcycles were exempt from the onslaught of self-driving technology, you thought wrong. BMW is mum on exactly what tech is integrated into the bike to allow it to operate autonomously. In Munich, safety researchers have been using the autonomous motorcycle to test out features for its real motorcycles to handle unsafe situations. Pushing its curiosity for motorcycle dynamics, the company created the self-riding R to help further its understanding of the motorcycle's behavior and how it could eventually receive rider-assist technologies.

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Autonomous, or driverless, cars are a concept most of us are familiar with and testing has been taking place on public roads.

The self-driving motorcycle can start its engine, accelerate, and stop autonomously - and can also lean into turns to maintain stability while driving.

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