Over the past few years there has been a lot of hue and cry about self-driving cars and how they are the future of the automobiles.
The trend is spreading so much, that non-automobile manufacturers like Google and Apple too want to join the bandwagon. Now how will this fit into the 2 wheeler. Honda has a fix to keep you upright: a self-stabilizing motorcycle, which it unveiled Wednesday at CES in a rider less demonstration.
Unlike the Segway and BMW’s Motorrad Vision concept motorcycle, Honda’s concept doesn’t make use of gyroscopes as it is bound to add weight to the motorcycle. Instead, Honda uses its own technology which uses struts on either side of the motorcycle. Honda uses an electronic steer-by-wire system that disengages the handlebars from the front forks at speeds below 3 mph, passing control of the front wheel to the computer. The bike senses lean angles and swings the wheel to either side, thousands of times per second, to counteract any tendency tip over. It also adjusts the angles of the front forks, lowering the bike’s center of gravity to improve stability. The result is a bike that stays upright all on its own.
Research suggests that motorcycle accidents are 27 times higher and more fatal than car accidents. The self-balancing technology could possibly give motorcycles improved safety by keeping the rider and the motorcycle upright. And then there is also the convenience of never having to put the motorcycle on a stand.
This fix isn’t for everyone. “Most riders can manage their bikes just fine,” says Lee Edmunds, in Honda’s motorcycle division. “This would be for those who want to relax a little bit and not stress out about falling over, if they’re older or a little shorter in stature or the bike is heavier. This takes away that anxiety.”