BMW shows off self-driving motorcycle

Autonomous BMW R 1200 GS 11 830x553

VIDEO: BMW Motorrad previews autonomous bike

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.

As BMW engineer Stefan Hans notes in the video, the company never actually set out to create a self-driving motorcycle - it just wanted to figure out ways to improve motorcycle safety for riders the same way lane-keeping and autonomous braking systems help keep vehicle drivers safe.

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BMW Motorrad's first autonomous motorbike was presented last week at the BMW Motorrad Techday 2018. Instead, as with the original concept, the ambition is to make cycling "more comfortable and increase the riding pleasure". Full self-riding bikes on the street, though, "remain, of course, science fiction", says BMW.

However, the company admitted that there are major challenges ahead, such as while a car's autonomous safety system can hit the brakes in an emergency without injuring the driver, that situation is completely different for a bike and its unrestrained rider. The 3D printing process used in the frame uses carbon to create lightweight but high strength components including wheels.

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BMW's goal isn't to develop and sell autonomous motorcycles, though. BMW Motorrad is taking two-wheeler needs into consideration for tomorrow's world of transport and preparing for it technically.

The autonomous motorcycle prototype will be used to gather data to improve riding safety and comfort. Here is another way BMW Motorrad benefits from close cooperation with BMW Automobiles.

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Special thanks to BMW Canada, BMW USA and BMW Europe for sharing this story with us and all our 300 million readers at Total Motorcycle.

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