Bavarian motor company, BMW, claims motorcycle riders will soon be able to get all the thrills with none of the spills. As BMW celebrates 100 years, they’ve begun pushing forth their Vision Next series. This series is a collection of futuristic concept vehicles from Rolls-Royce, Mini and BMW.
The BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 is the latest and final one of the four vehicles. Dubbed the motorcycle of the future, this futuristic concept integrates artificial intelligence and augmented reality to create a safer ride. The zero-emissions motorcycle has self-balancing wheels designed to stand upright even at a complete stop. Stability, that the company says, will allow riders to forgo riding a helmet.
“Its self-balancing system will help protect the rider at any time,” said Edgar Heinrich, the design director of BMW’s motorcycle division. “Any late reaction from the driver will trigger and the vehicle will balance out. In the future, motorcycle riders will be able to enjoy riding without protective gear.”
The sleek motorcycle adopts a triangular frame, paying homage to the manufacturers first R32 motorcycle from the 1920s. Designed for both novice and experienced riders, this futuristic concept features a flexible frame that adapts at different speeds for effortless steering. These safety features eliminate the need for a helmet. Instead, BMW opted to replace it with a pair of data glasses that projects data and route information, helping riders navigate and inform them of hazards.
As well as providing wind protection, the glasses show relevant data in four designated display areas. What riders see is controlled by their eye movements: looking up or down changes the content that appears, while looking straight ahead switches the information off completely. Looking upwards activates the rear-view function in the visor, allowing the rider to see what is going on on the road behind. Lowering the eyes to normal levels opens a menu for the rider to select an option by pointing a finger. Looking further down opens the map view showing the rider’s chosen route.
BMW has also produced a concept rider jacket with A/C functions, allowing the rider to adjust it to their desired temperature. Althought many countries mandate the wearing of protective gear, BMW’s self-balancing technology is still in the developmental stage. If the futuristic motorcycle concept becomes reality, it won’t likely be until 2030.
Despite its contemporary features the bike will not be fully autonomous, the company said. BMW doesn’t envision autonomy on motorcycles, as the driverless autopilot system has faced global scrutiny in previous months.
So what are your thoughts on this futuristic motorcycle concept? Do you think BMW should try to make it driverless?