With the development of an autonomous bike test mule, BMW claims that the technology will provide insights into the finer dynamics of riding
In a bid to showcase its advancements in the autonomous riding space, BMW Motorrad has showcased a self-riding test version of its R 1200 GS adventure tourer at the ongoing 2019 CES in Las Vegas. What this means is that the autonomous bike is capable of performing all operations – start, acceleration, cornering, slowing down and stopping – all by itself, without any human intervention. However, BMW claims that the technology is not aimed at removing the role of the rider, but instead aims at providing deeper insights into the finer dynamics of riding, which will allow better prep for the rider. By doing so, the self-riding bike will provide a safer riding experience for amateur riders, with its knowledge of taking ideal lines, perfect lean while cornering and optimising acceleration on the basis of available traction. This kind of technology will also help reduce road fatalities caused by riding errors.
While BMW will pay key attention to aspects like emergency braking and turning on intersections in its autonomous tech, most of the corresponding hardware (such as gyroscopes and other sensor-based instruments) are already offered on its motorcycles. Therefore, the autonomous tech is not likely to raise the motorcycle prices too much as it only requires a software integration. As of now, BMW Motorrad plans on introducing features like adaptive cruise control and emergency braking on the higher-spec GS motorcycles first. However, the timeline for the introduction of full autonomous tech on its bikes is yet to be decided.
The R 1200 GS is powered by a 1,170cc twin-cylinder, four-stroke boxer engine that produces 125bhp and 125Nm of torque. In India, it carries a retail price of ₹ 15.85 lakh (ex-showroom).