BMW built a self-riding motorcycle to help develop safety tech

The self-riding R1200GS will someday lead to active safety systems on motorcycles similar to what we see in modern four-wheeled transportation.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
BMW Motorrad via YouTube

Riding a motorcycle is one of life's great pleasures, but unfortunately it does come with its share of risks. Many of those risks are being mitigated by new safety equipment such as lean-sensitive ABS and advanced traction control but life on two wheels is still miles away from what advanced driver assistance systems on modern cars are capable of.

BMW Motorrad, ever the driver of technology, is working to change that and in the process of doing so, they made a motorcycle that can drive itself. Now, don't get too excited because BMW's end goal isn't to put self-riding motorcycles on the road, this is just an exercise in developing systems to help mitigate the risk caused by inattentive riders. Still though, it's a little freaky to see a loaded R1200GS riding around a track with nobody on it.

BMW seems to feel that it's close to being able to equip its bikes with things like automatic emergency braking and active lane-keep assist which could be neat from a technical perspective. However, as someone that rides a motorcycle in traffic on a near-daily basis, the idea that someone is inattentive on a motorcycle to the point where the machine would need to intervene is totally counter to the basic tenets of safe (and fun) motorcycling.

(Hat tip to Abhi from Bike-Urious.com for digging up this story originally)