BMW has showed off its technological firepower by piloting an R1200GS around a test track — without a rider.

The autonomous bike was paraded in front of journalists in southern France earlier this month. BMW says it is not aiming for a completely independent motorbike (after all, where would be the fun in that?) but that the redundant-rider technology “should serve as a platform for development of future systems and functions to make motorcycling even safer, more comfortable and increase the riding pleasure”.

CAPTION: Not surprisingly, a bike that doesn’t need a rider does need lots of tech-wizardry packed into its panniers.

“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,” the company says.

In other words, even if you don’t have the skills or aren’t paying attention — your bike has and is.

BMW also showed off a motorcycle frame manufactured using a 3D printing process and made special mention of what it calls V2V communication technology, through which vehicles can communicate with each other. Also keep an eye out for V2I technology (that’s vehicle-to-infrastructure, so your bike can talk to the upcoming traffic lights) and V2X technology (that’s vehicle-to-everything, which we presume brings V2V and V2I into the same tech kit). And just to be clear, no, we’re not joking. This is all for real.

CAPTION: A 3D-printed frame enables complex shape and high-tech materials.

We’re looking forward to some kit in which our iPhone can tell car drivers’ phones to tell their masters to either hurry up or get out of the way. But this time we are joking. Er, right?

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Peter Terlick

2 thoughts on “BMW flexes high tech muscle by removing 100kg of unnecessary weight — and that would be you

  1. How about v2x telling nearby drivers to put down their phones and use their mirrors? But knowing manufacturers, it’ll probably just flash up an ad saying “If you had this bike you wouldn’t be stuck in traffic either!”

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