BMW’s latest concept bike looks like it just rode out of a sci-fi movie and onto the showroom floor. The Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 is dressed to the nines with driver assisting technology and a self-balancing system that makes it impossible to tip over.
In fact, the bike is supposed to be so safe, the rider won’t even need to wear a helmet or protective gear. Outfits will relinquish their current role as the buffer between your skin and the concrete and will turn into more of a fashion statement. The bike is just a concept design for now but it’s an enticing look at the future of motorcycling.
The bike is equipped with systems that help anticipate problems on the road ahead and offer guidance on ways to avoid collisions. Replacing the helmet is an augmented reality visor that keeps wind out and is controlled through eye movements.
The bike also comes with a self-balancing system that allows it to stay upright both while moving and standing still. Novices can rejoice in the elimination of their greatest fear clumsily tipping over for no good reason while stopped at an intersection. Meanwhile, experienced riders will appreciate the enhanced riding dynamics.
“The bike has the full range of connected data from its surroundings and a set of intelligent systems working in the background, so it knows exactly what lies ahead,” said Holger Hampf, BMW’s head of user experience.
While smart technology in cars mostly aim to take over bits and pieces of the driving experience, BMW made it clear the technology being loaded into their bike will only be there to help from the sidelines. They put top priority on preserving the thrill of the ride and keeping “the same sense of freedom that riders experienced in the very early days of motorcycle riding.”
“Artificial intelligence – as we at BMW call it the digital companion – will only appear when required or upon the rider’s request,” said Edgar Heinrich, head of design at BMW motorrad.
Even if we never see this particular motorcycle come to reality, it’s a glimpse into where BMW wants to go in the future. Motorcyclists are already 27 times more likely to die in a crash than car passengers so incorporating these safety concepts into future designs would have a huge impact on making rides safer and more attractive to potential new riders.
“Normally, when we develop a motorcycle, we tend to think 5 to 10 years in advance. On this occasion, we looked much further ahead and found the experience especially exciting. There are some very attractive prospects. I firmly believe the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 sets out a coherent future scenario for the BMW Motorrad brand,” said Heinrich.