BMW has developed its own self-driving motorcycle

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Although self-driving car 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.

Motorcyclists die at a far higher rate than individuals in a car, and it's not hard to see why. Motorcycles lack all of the safety mechanisms even cheap full-sized cars have, and no matter how safe they might drive, reckless fellow drivers are far more dangerous to them due to the lack of exterior shielding.

However, even with these dangers in mind, thousands of bikers continue to hit the road on a daily basis. To make life a bit easier for them down the line, BMW has developed "ConnectedRide," a form of self-driving motorcycle technology.

Based on the announcement video published by BMW, the tech seems pretty effective. Granted, the track the bike in question drives on in the clip is free of other vehicles, but it's still an impressive achievement - it manages to turn, brake, and stop entirely unassisted.

BMW's goal isn't to develop and sell autonomous motorcycles, though. Rather, it wants to install "dynamic control programs" into its motorcycles that will show drivers the "best and safest" path around an obstacle, while also offering automatic braking, and other safety solutions to aid "inattentive" riders.

It's not clear when BMW's ConnectedRide tech will arrive, but it's already been in development for around two years so it wouldn't be a surprise to see BMW's upcoming motorcycle line-ups launch with the feature built-in.

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TomSEA

TechSpot Chancellor
I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be driving a motorcycle that could take control and do something different than what you're intending while engaging in traffic evasive maneuvers.

At least with a car, you have a frame to protect you if the auto-pilot does something dumb. With a motorcycle, one accident is all you get.
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
However, even with these dangers in mind, thousands of bikers continue to hit the road on a daily basis
I used to own a sport bike (crotch rocket) and when I did I also bought life insurance from one of the biggest and best life insurance companies in the country. Insurance companies charge you more when you're more risky (e.g. your auto policy will cost more if you've had speeding tickets), and I knew that they charged people more for insurance if they had riskier lifestyles or health problems etc.

I expected to have to pay more because I rode a motorcycle. But I didn't. They didn't charge me more at all, and when I asked why they said it wasn't that risky.

Meaning... according to the experts (actuaries) who figure out the risk of death for a given circumstance, riding a motorcycle is less likely to cause your death than obesity or high cholesterol or diabetes.
 
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Bp968

TS Booster
I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be driving a motorcycle that could take control and do something different than what you're intending while engaging in traffic evasive maneuvers.

At least with a car, you have a frame to protect you if the auto-pilot does something dumb. With a motorcycle, one accident is all you get.
Humans are obsessed with the idea of control. Until you've been stricken with a chronic illness its easy to live in that cloud where you falsely think your actually in charge.

Regardless, I used to hate the idea of autonomous cars/etc. But the reality is they will make vastly less mistakes then your typical human driver will. Each mistake they make will be big news on TV primarily *because* they are so rare, and because we as humans are obsessed with the idea of control (even if its false).

Honestly the biggest hold up to autonomous driving will be the law and lawsuits. As long as someone can target the automaker with mega lawsuits over every accident its going to stall/stop implementation of autonomous vehicles. Right now the car maker isn't liable for the stupidity of the driver or any accidents due to nature, etc. But with autonomous cars people are going to sue over every single tiny accident claiming it was the computers vault (and thus the manufacturers fault). I don't think we will see widespread autonomous cars until some form of litigation protection is established.
 

Q Wales

TS Rookie
Love the idea of autonomous cars and can't wait until they are available but this seems like it must have been thought up by someone who who wants to do it because they can rather than actually thinking about what bike owners want. #NooneWantsThis
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Tell BMW they should stick that turd right back up their chief research engineer's backside, from whence it came.

The research they should be doing, is asking real bikers, how many of them felt the need for, or wanted, "a self driving motorcycle". Then, if the bikers didn't kill them for asking, Beemer could fire the whole damned sycophantic, money siphoning, parasitic product development staff, and start over with engineers with some common sense.

Or maybe the CEO and board of directors should go, for sanctioning a lunatic abomination such as that bike.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Humans are obsessed with the idea of control. Until you've been stricken with a chronic illness its easy to live in that cloud where you falsely think your actually in charge.
And since you're not human, you're not afflicted with that need for control?

You're downing human, "need for control", then replacing it with, "lack of freedom".

But no, I'm just kidding. I look forward to the day when I can assume the fetal position in the backseat of my self driving car, and download porn with my iPhone XX, while sucking my thumb and reciting, "I remember how horrible and Fascist it was to have an automobile under my personal control. :poop: :rolleyes:

Ew, those steering wheels were so slimy and full of germs, I need a hand sanitizer just thinking about it.
 
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