News BMW Motorcycles's 1st Autonomous Motorcycle in Action: R 1200 GS (Video)

BMW Motorcycles’s 1st Autonomous Motorcycle in Action: R 1200 GS (Video)

BMW R 1200 GS Autonomous Motorcycle Video

BMW Motorrad is always one step ahead of the competition in regards to innovative motorcycle technology.

The Bavarian company released the first ABS system for a motorcycle back in 1988. With the release of the 2009 S 1000 RR superbike, it brought the first motorcycle to market with both ABS and dynamic traction control.

BMW Motorrad followed this in 2014 with the release of cornering ABS on its S 1000 RR.

BMW R 1200 GS Autonomous Motorcycle in action
BMW’s first autonomous motorcycle in action

All this technology was quickly imitated across the motorcycle industry, and made for much safer riding on both roads and race tracks across the world. And it was all spearheaded by BMW Motorrad’s technological innovations that basically disrupted the status quo.

BMW has once again broken the status quo by demonstrating its first fully autonomous motorcycle during last week’s BMW Motorrad Techday 2018.

What better bike to choose than the R 1200 GS – the adventure tourer that is BMW’s top-selling motorcycle?

Before a crowd of journalist, the self-driving R 1200 GS performed flawlessly at the BMW Group testing ground in Miramas, southern France.

“Developed by graduate engineer Stefan Hans and his team, the vehicle independently drives off, accelerates, circles a winding test track and independently slows down to a stop,” BMW Motorad reports.

The video above shows the bike in action.

This may bring back some memories of Yamaha’s MotoBot, which is a humanoid robot that is being developed to pilot a motorcycle competently on a racetrack. But that bike was powered by the humanoid robot, and not fully autonomous on its own.

BMW Motorrad says its autonomous project is “by no means” aiming for a completely independent motorbike.

“Rather, the underlying 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. 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,” BMW says.

BMW R 1200 GS Autonomous Motorcycle bags of electronicsBesides the autonomous motorcycle presentation, BMW Motorrad also exposed some other technical moto goodies, including:

  • Luminous motorcycle headlights cornering lights
  • Laser headlights
  • A motorcycle frame manufactured completely using a 3D printing process, including the rear swinging arm.

BMW Motorad also offered some words on the face-paced advancement of digitization that will change the future of motorcycling:

“BMW Motorrad is taking two-wheeler needs into consideration for tomorrow’s world of transport and preparing for it technically. Above all, the V2V communication between vehicles are in the foreground further enhancing safety and comfort for the motorcyclist through digital networking. Here, too, BMW Motorrad benefits from close cooperation with BMW Automobiles.”

For more, visit BMW Motorrad.

BMW R 1200 GS Autonomous Motorcycle Photo Gallery

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling.

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