A self-driving motorcycle sounds terrifying, but BMW’s autonomous bike isn’t supposed to ever drive on public roads — it’s only for safety research. So that’s a relief.
This week BMW Motorrad — the motorcycle division of the German car company — showed a prototype driverless bike on a test track accelerating, navigating curves, and braking all on its own. In Munich, safety researchers have been using the autonomous motorcycle to test out features for its real motorcycles to handle dangerous situations.
What the company learns from the robot-controlled motorcycle will go into its safety and driving systems for its human-driven bikes. This isn’t testing for full-fledged self-driving motorcycles. Instead, the tech developed through the prototype will help riders stay stable, avoid obstacles on the road, and manage other dangerous situations, like when they need to brake quickly.
It’s creepy to watch a motorcycle operate on its own — but anything for safety.