The Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) is the world’s biggest launch pad for new innovation and technology that can change the course of the world. All kinds of manufacturers and developers showcase their high-tech products and give a glimpse of the next-generation innovations being introduced to the marketplace.
Out of these, even automotive technology takes a highly respected category and one of them is by the Japanese Red, Honda. A major player in the world of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. They announced their big new project called the “Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem” that is touted to transform the mobility experience of the future and improve customers’ quality of life.
If you’ve been on the tech front page, you might have heard about Honda’s Uni-Cub, a small personal mobility technology which had a self-balancing multidirectional movement capability. Only exploited in making an OK-GO visual dance. Some liked it, some hated it. It kind of solves a problem that did not exist in the first place.
But Honda have upped their ante and used that technology into our everyday life i.e. if you ride a motorcycle. Yes, a self-balancing motorcycle that will also follow you wherever you go. That is some eerily satisfying condescending though.
Motorcycle accidents are close to 30 times more than those of cars, and Honda is in an effort to minimize that as much as possible. This is done by keeping the motorcycle upright at speeds lesser than 5 kph and give the rider maximum control and stability. The self-balancing technology will eliminate low speed accidents where riders would have most probably injured themselves with the motorcycle falling on them.
Along with this, the motorcycle also has a neat trick up its sleeve. Just with a touch of a button under the headlight cluster, the bike will follow its master wherever he goes, probably with an electric drive, and can also find a parking spot for itself, saving loads of time in your urban commuting.
As an optional benefit, the bike will come equipped with side struts which will eventually be even more refined when it comes to production models.
Honda has not made use of a gyroscope or other mass-shifting devices as we all might have expected. Instead, the front fork angle increases to widen the wheelbase and disconnecting the forks from the handlebar. The front wheel keeps twitching left or right to keep the balance upright. This piece of technology will also help save a lot of weight by eliminating heavy gyroscopes.
Last year, BMW Motorrad showcased its Vision Next 100, a motorcycle that is a completely radical concept of the traditional machine on two wheels today.
Even this German concept is a self-balancing motorcycle that makes the side stand become mundane and mute. It promises to enhance stability of the motorcycle when on the move and also balances the bike when in stationary. We think it makes use of a gyroscope to do this magic. Even when the rider unmounts the motorcycle, it will remain upright and always provide a positive feel for the rider.
With safety always been a big hindrance with motorcycles, that notion is going to change with manufacturers getting new technology out in the world and make riding a safer experience. Motorcycle in the future will engage with each and every vehicle on the road and mitigate the right path and minimize fatalities to nil.
While no official announcements have been made regarding having the Riding Assist making onto the production line, but we won’t be surprised if we see it sooner.