BMW developed a self-driving motorcycle to further its safety efforts

BMW developed a self-driving motorcycle to further its safety efforts

However, whatever additionnal knowledge the autonomous R will bring will eventually lead to such systems as adaptive cruise control or automatic braking assist. Nearly never does one think about an autonomous motorcycle.

Why it matters: Now that the self-driving auto industry has begun to mature, carmaker BMW is shifting its sights to one of the most risky forms of transportation out there - motorcycles. The bike itself is a BMW Motorrad R 1200 GS adventure bike. The bike is capable of reading its track ahead of it and can steer its way around as well.

Although self-driving auto 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.

If you thought motorcycles were exempt from the onslaught of self-driving technology, you thought wrong.

According to BMW, it's the first German-made self-driving motorcycle, and it's helping with the development of new safety features that will soon become available on upcoming bikes. In Munich, safety researchers have been using the autonomous motorcycle to test out features for its real motorcycles to handle risky situations.

Rider safety aid in the motorcycling world has seen a meteoric rise in the last couple of years, be it airbag-equipped suits or something outrageous like Bosch's thruster technology.

Although, an entirely autonomous bike could be a pretty cool idea for some of the same reasons that semi-autonomous cars are cool.

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 vehicle technologies to the test without putting an actual rider at risk.

The autonomous technology allows the motorcycle to take off from a dead stop, negotiate turns and curves, and then stop again all without any human assistance.

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