The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is where technology companies from all over the world display their latest and greatest ideas.
This year a few motorcycle companies made the trip, including Harley-Davidson who unveiled their finished LiveWire. Taking a slightly larger leap into the unknown was BMW, who gave us a better look at their self-riding GS.
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The BMW R1200GS is able to start, accelerate, corner (quite aggressively actually), slow down and come to a stop all by itself. It’s a one person gymkhana demonstration but instead of years of practice, it is lines of code.
As fun (and terrifying) as this exercise is, it also serves a genuine purpose for helping to improve motorbike safety. BMW say that by developing the vehicle and pushing its limits, they are able to help recognise dangerous riding situations, which provides extra insight into the bikes dynamics.
Ducati were also there with a new safety development that’s a bit more obvious in its application. Ducati have been working with parent company Audi as well as Ford to develop the ConVex system (Connected Vehicle to Everything).
The ConVex system allows the vehicles to talk to each other and intervene if they believe a crash is about to take place. Ducati believe this could be particularly effective at junctions, where a car driver may attempt to pull out in front of a motorcyclist they have not seen.
In this situation, the car would sense the bike approaching and apply the brakes to avoid a collision. The technology can also be extended to allow vehicles to sense cyclists and pedestrians to prevent collisions with other vulnerable users.
Machines that can sense human locations? One more step towards judgement day…