BMW's autonomous R1200GS on video

Last year BMW revealed to the world the R1200RS ConnectedRide prototype; with a host of technologies including Vehicle to Vehicle Communication and a Differential Global Navigation Satellite System, it aimed to make riding a motorcycle safer, more connected and less dangerous. A year later and that concept has taken another leap forward - it can move autonomously.

Yep, here's a bike that doesn't require a rider. Shown at BMW's Motorrad Tech Day in Miramas, the BMW - that's now an R1200GS - can start, accelerate, corner and stop independently. As you can see in the video below, it's equal parts impressive and spooky. Interestingly BMW says it "is by no means aiming for a completely independent motorbike." Instead, as with the original concept, the ambition is to make cycling "more comfortable and increase the riding pleasure." It will be tested to discover more about dangerous situations and the appropriate safety tech to support the ride in those.

There isn't much more issued in the press material, though further details are discussed in the video. Without plans to fully automate motorcycling, surely the introduction of new safety measures, improved stability and more control is a good thing? Over to the PHers on two wheels...


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Comments (39) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Onehp 13 Sep 2018

    Current tech is great.

    Biggest danger remains the frontal lobe brain cells allowing for too much right hand twist.

    Reminds me of my radiocontrolled motorcycle toys 30years ago that you had to control by weight tranfer of the battery cradle...

  • Mr_Sukebe 13 Sep 2018

    Good showcase of capability.

    I see the biggest use being for city scooters and similar.
    Uber are already looking a renting electric scooters in the US. Give the scooter this technology and you can have your scooter drive to meet you, then after you've finished with it, it wanders off to a holding area where it can get re-charged before going on to the next bunch of customers.

    So probably a bit pointless on the bike in question, but there's a lot of VERY serious applications for the capability.

  • horsemeatscandal 13 Sep 2018

    Safer AND less dangerous? Sign me up.

    Interesting technology, monstrosity of a bike.

  • black-k1 13 Sep 2018

    Definitely a solution looking for a problem.

    Although …

    for all those who buy bikes, put them in the shed/living room and don't use them this could be a way of getting miles on without having to actually ride the bike!!!! No more embarrassment at the lack of miles when the MoT is renewed. biggrin

  • sidesauce 13 Sep 2018

    black-k1 said:
    Definitely a solution looking for a problem.
    How so? It's clearly stated by Stefan that their goal was not to develop a fully automated bike but to improve safety. Given the amount of motorcycle injuries and fatalies due to human error I fail to see how this train of thought is a solution looking for a problem; rather, it's an attempt at finding a solution to a problem!

    Stuff like this is fascinating as given it's early days in development the tech will improve extremely quickly over the next few years. The last line in the commentary "and self-driving motorcycles on the road, remain, of course, science fiction" should really have finished with "for now...".

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