BMW's motorcycle of the future would use self-balancing tech to keep you safe

BMW has unveiled a slew of concept vehicles to mark its 100th birthday, but its fourth and last example might be the most daring. Its new Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle would supposedly be so smart that you wouldn't need a helmet, or even a padded suit. The key would be a self-balancing system that keeps the bike upright whether or not you're moving -- newcomers wouldn't have to worry about toppling over, and veterans could push limits further than usual.

Also, notice the absence of the usual space for an instrument cluster? That's because you wouldn't need it. Most information would instead display through a smart visor that shows data as it becomes relevant. All told, you'd spend more time enjoying open air driving and less time worrying about your speed or range (BMW will only say that this is a "zero-emission" bike, but it'd likely be electric).

Like the other Vision Next 100 concepts, you're not going to see this exact motorcycle on the road any time soon. However, it might not just be due to the grand technological ambitions. While a self-balancing system could prevent you from crashing the bike yourself, it wouldn't protect you in many serious collisions. What if you're forcefully ejected from your vehicle? Regulators would likely require some kind of helmet, even if it's not as cumbersome as what you wear today.

It’s meant to equal the driverless systems automakers also expect to be producing in cars by 2040 and beyond.

“The bike has the full range of connected data from its surroundings and a set of intelligent systems working in the background, so it knows exactly what lies ahead,” said Holger Hampf, BMW's head of user experience. 

Several systems—one BMW calls a “Digital Companion,” which offers riding advice and adjustment ideas to optimize the experience, and one called “The Visor,” which is a pair of glasses that span the entire field of vision and are controlled by eye movements—correlate to return active feedback about road conditions to the rider while adjusting the ride of the bike continuously depending on the rider’s driving style. (Sure beats today's motorcycle touchscreen technology.) 

“Normally when we develop a motorcycle, we tend to think five to 10 years in advance,” Edgar Heinrich, head of design at BMW Motorrad, said in a press statement. “On this occasion, we looked much further ahead and found … some very attractive prospects.”

Source: BMW, Bloomberg

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About Jaime Lacson

A Freelance Computer Tech with knowledge about computer, router and mobile phones, especially in Upgrade and Downgrade OS, Software and Hardware troubleshooting. follow me at Google+
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