Autonomous BMW R 1200 GS Allows Systems Testing at No Risk For The Rider

Autonomous BMW R 1200 GS 7 photos
Photo: BMW
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One could easily imagine why self-driving cars might be a thing in the not so distant future. After all, there’s a certain something about the thought to being able to sit back and relax or get some work done while the vehicle does its thing.
But what about self-riding bikes?

A while back, motorbike manufacturer Yamaha presented the Motobot, a metal humanoid robot rider mounting an YZF-R1M autonomous machine. When it presented the contraption, Yamaha said the bike had little modifications made to it and was designed this way to tackle riding operations from a human rider’s standpoint.

So excited were the Japanese with their creation that they even pitted it against Valentino Rossi at California's Thunderhill Raceway.

And that was all she wrote for now as far as the Motobot goes. Just as the world began to forget all about it, BMW Motorrad pulled this out of its hat.

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. Not even with a metallic humanoid robot on top of it for fun and kicks.

The systems that allow the 1200 to do this have been designed by a team led by graduate engineer Stefan Hans. It allows the bike to self-balance, accelerate, complete the course on a test track and slow down to a stop.

BMW says it has no plans of making an autonomous production bike out of it, but rather use it to develop future safety-related systems and functions.

“ The aim of the prototype is to gather additional knowledge with regards driving dynamics in order to detect dangerous situations early on and thus support the driver with appropriate safety systems while turning at intersections or when braking suddenly, for example.” said BMW in a statement.

More details on the BMW technologies shown at the Motorrad Techday can be found in the document attached below.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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