BMW presents its self-balancing motorcycle of the future

The self-balancing BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle is unveiled on the last of four international stops of the 'I
The self-balancing BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle is unveiled on the last of four international stops of the 'Iconic Impulses' event, celebrating 100 years of BMW, in Santa Monica, California, on October 11, 2016

The motorcycle of the future is so safe riders can cruise without helmet—all of the thrills with none of the danger—according to BMW.

The German automaker unveiled on Tuesday its Motorrad Vision Next 100, a sleek, self-balancing prototype the company released as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.

The zero-emissions bike 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 world's top maker of luxury vehicles has also premiered this year a futuristic BMW sports car with a flexible body, as well as a self-driving Rolls-Royce and an electric Mini model.

Company representatives said that riding without a helmet remains a fantasy for now, though.

Many countries mandate the and self-balancing technology is still in the developmental stage—if the latest concept vehicle becomes a reality, it likely won't be before 2030.

The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle is unveiled on the last of four international stops of the Iconic Impulses e
The BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle is unveiled on the last of four international stops of the Iconic Impulses event, celebrating 100 years of BMW, in Santa Monica, California, on October 11, 2016

Despite its contemporary features the bike will not be fully autonomous, the company said.

"We do not envision autonomy on motorcycles," said Heinrich, as the driverless autopilot system has faced global scrutiny following fatal crashes in northern China in January and in the US state of Florida in May.

In September, a Tesla electric car crashed into a tourist bus on a motorway in northern Germany, after the driver who was the only one slightly injured claimed he had activated the autopilot system.

BMW aims to commercialize fully autonomous vehicles by 2021, a company spokesman told AFP.

The Munich-based group has been collaborating with US computer chip giant Intel and the Israeli technology firm Mobileye to develop self-driving cars.

Last year, the Munich-based group also joined forces with its German rivals Daimler and Audi, the luxury subsidiary of Volkswagen, to buy the Here digital mapping service from Nokia to assist in the effort.

Head of BMW Motorrad Design, Edgar Heinrich, speaks at the unveiling of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle at t
Head of BMW Motorrad Design, Edgar Heinrich, speaks at the unveiling of the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 concept motorcycle at the 'Iconic Impulses' event in Santa Monica, California, on October 11, 2016

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Oct 12, 2016
...The motorcycle of the future is so safe riders can cruise without helmet—all of the thrills with none of the danger
...
Its self-balancing system will help protect the rider at any time...

How would even the best possible self-balancing system protect the rider from, say, a head injury from a car crushing into the bike at high relative speed?
This is nonsense, you cannot have "all of the thrills with NONE of the danger" here; yes a self-balancing system will surely help protect the rider from SOME causes of accidents and would be better than nothing, but there still would be some dangers including some danger of head injury thus there still would be some very good reason to take the sensible precaution to ware a helmet.

Oct 12, 2016
ead injury from a car crushing into the bike at high relative speed?

Exacly.
- Head gear: Protects you from impacts with the street (also from impacts with road debris being thrown up by the guy in front of you or stuff like the occasional bee. If you've ever been hit by any of these because you left your visor open too far you'll know that that can hurt quite a bit)
- Back protectors: Same. Essential to prevent back injuries when you get thrown off in a crash
- Leather clothes with knee/shoulder protectors and gloves: Ever seen what someone looks like who wears just jeans and is involved in a crash where he skids along pavement? Not pretty.

I'd never forego any of this protective gear on a motorcycle. That would be insanely reckless.

That said I don't get where self balancing is going to help on a motorcycle. Motorcycles aren't hard to balance. Only at very slow speeds is there a (very minor) issue. So what's the point?

Oct 12, 2016
..adding to that it's also a matter of comfort:
- riding on a motorcycle - especially at speed - can get pretty cold (or wet!) protective head/other gear is a really good idea in those conditions.
- If you have long hair then a helmet is a must. Otherwise you'll get a completely unravel-proof tangle that'll only be solved similar to a Gordian knot. (No, scrunchies don't work. They eventually fly off.)
https://en.wikipe...ian_Knot

cps
Oct 12, 2016
There is a more sensible self balancing 'motorbike' that is (or was) under development by lit motors. The vehicle is enclosed so no helmet required and uses gyroscopes to balance. Looked like a great idea but they seem to have run out of cash...

Oct 12, 2016
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Oct 12, 2016
Gotta love stories written by someone who has zero experience with the product or category. This technology is not about helmetless riding. And once rolling under normal circumstances, all bikes are self-balancing! The primary advantage of this tech appears under low or zero traction circumstances. Hit an icy patch or some wet leaves and the bike will stay under you. How it reacts at the end of that icy patch is yet to be demonstrated. If the ice extends off the edge of the road surface, the rider better be wearing a helmet. The downside of this tech is that it will allow/encourage riders to ride at the limit and in poor traction situations. And I suggest that it might eat up tires while fighting to overcome inertia. It will be good to see results after many miles on the road. In the meantime, I'll stick with my yesterday-tech Iron 883.

Oct 12, 2016
f you have long hair then a helmet is a must. Otherwise you'll get a completely unravel-proof tangle that'll only be solved similar to a Gordian knot. (No, scrunchies don't work. They eventually fly off.)
So you are a woman aren't you? How did I know-

Please consider madam all the efforts to rescind helmet laws in the states, many successful as in PA. Despite frizzies and scrunchies and buggies and etc. Must be a man thing.

Oct 12, 2016
I'd never forego any of this protective gear on a motorcycle. That would be insanely reckless.


But does it need to be a hard helmet. There's a company that makes airbag collars for bikers.

A face mask with a visor isn't nearly as inconvenient as a full helmet.

Oct 12, 2016
Would this self-balancing technology cope with diesel spilt on a curve ?
Thought not...

FWIW, a grim joke was used to encourage UK motorcyclists ( & scooterists, bicyclists, quads etc etc) to wear a good helmet...

Q: What do you call a biker without a helmet ?
A: Double kidney donor...

Oct 13, 2016
I hope it's a safe as a car in a crash, since it's going to cost as much as a luxury sedan.

Oct 13, 2016
So you are a woman aren't you? How did I know-

Nope, but until a few years ago I used to have very long hair (about 70cm). Riding on motorcycles is hard on long hair. Even with a helmet you're not entirely proof against the stuff unravelling and flowing out behind you (and tangling into the most vexing knots). But a helmet surely helps.

Please consider madam all the efforts to rescind helmet laws in the states

The states is not the world. In other countries people are actually allowed to drive at speed (you know: because they're not complete idiots). I can see that helmet laws may not be required in the states. Motorists are basically stationary over there.

Oct 13, 2016

Nope, but until a few years ago I used to have very long hair (about 70cm). Riding on motorcycles is hard on long hair. Even with a helmet you're not entirely proof against the stuff unravelling and flowing out behind you (and tangling into the most vexing knots). But a helmet surely helps
Sorry I'm not convinced.
The states is not the world. In other countries people are actually allowed to drive at speed (you know: because they're not complete idiots)
?? This is puzzling in a couple of ways. I guess when you were here you never lived next to a thruway and heard superbikes screaming by in the middle of the night.

The typical bike here is lots faster than the typical car, and people drive them that way.

I myself have done 110 while humiliating a stupid fat Harley in front of a shopping mall, with 1 less cylinder and a superior hp to weight ratio.

Are you impressed? Wanna go get a drink somewhere?

Oct 13, 2016
Sorry I'm not convinced.

You don#t need to be sorry. Since I don't care what you think you you're free to delude yourself in any way that amuses you.

I guess when you were here you never lived next to a thruway and heard superbikes screaming by in the middle of the night.

Nope, never heard them. But what you may think of as 'screaming by' is a slow crawl to the speeds you find over here during the daytime in regular traffic.
I myself have done 110

Bravo. *slow clap*
(Note: 110mph is low highway speed for a motorbike on the Autobahn. Nah. I'm not impressed. Fast speed starts somewhere around 160mph. Regular crusing speed for everyday use would be somewhere around 125-140mph)

Oct 14, 2016
I think aa is engaging in his/her own form of bravadoccio.

"While parts of the autobahns and many other freeway-style highways have a posted limits up to 130 km/h (81 mph) based on accident experience, congestion and other factors, many rural sections have no general speed limit."

and

"Speed limits are enforced with a small tolerance. Driving merely 3 km/h (2 mph) or faster above the posted or implied speed limit is considered a punishable infraction in Germany."

-So I would have to think that typical speeds are similar to those in the US. Also, hanging on to a bike going over 100mph/?kph for any length of time is very exhausting even for Ubermenchen.

Oct 14, 2016
(Note: 110mph/?kph is pretty fast for a dirt bike on any bahn)

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