The last 12 months have seen many promising product announcements from motorcycle manufacturers. BMW displayed a prototype at its California open house that incorporated self-righting technology and automated throttle and braking controls designed to — save riders from their own mistakes.
Honda, drawing on technology developed for its Asimo humanoid robot, announced the first motorcycle that could balance itself and remain standing upright without support while sitting still. The Honda offering accomplished this by using servo motors incorporated into its front forks to minutely adjust the length, angle and pitch of the front of the bike.
While both of these new bike designs offer significant potential to increase rideability and safety, their projected time from displayed prototype to a street-ready bike was a decade’s delay or more. Laudable though these efforts are, it seems they both may be beaten to the market by the newest design from rival Yamaha.
At the recent Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha Motors President Hiroyuki Yanagi presided over a display that wowed both motorheads and tech junkies alike when he took to the stage to introduce what the company is calling its “Motoroid.”
The Motoroid is an entirely new leap in the field of artificial intelligence as applied to the motorcycle industry. Utilizing micro adjustments made in the battery location and swing arm angle, it is also capable of standing alone. Readings are fed from a combination of gyro and accelerometer sensors at a rate of 2,000 a second into the Active Mass Center Control System, or AMCES, which then delivers commands to actuators in the motorcycle, rotating and moving the battery as well as the swing arm connecting the chassis with the rear tire. Think of it as a variable pendulum that constantly adjusts itself to stay in balance.
Standing alone isn’t what makes the Motoroid so special, though. During his presentation, President Yanagi motioned to the bike with his hand as if calling a small child. The bike, of its own accord, started to roll across the Yamaha stage toward Yanagi and then halted on command.
Thanks to the advanced AI functions programmed into the motorcycle, it is able to recognize and respond to basic hand signals and can be taught to recognize its owner’s voice and facial features. This means the bike could be told to park itself in the garage, and it would make it almost theftproof short of physically lifting and hauling it away.
Best of all, the projected time to take the prototype and have street-ready bikes in production is said to be only about five years. That is half of the competition’s best estimates and could give the company a definite edge towards cornering this market.
Melbourne personal injury attorney Brad Sinclair had this to say about the new bikes coming out in the near future: “As a motorcycle enthusiast myself, I have been watching these developments very closely and honestly can’t wait to see them come to market. A large part of my practice is helping fellow bikers who have been in motorcycle accidents. Anything that can make the roads safer for my brothers, I am all for. If they also happen to be good for the environment, make riding more comfortable and deliver on all the other promised features, well, that is just sauce for the goose.”
Name: Scot Small
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Organization: Sinclair Law
Address: 5465 N US Highway 1 Melbourne FL 32940
Release ID: 275607