Following the BMW VISION NEXT 100, unveiled at the Munich Centenary Event on 7 March, and the MINI VISION NEXT 100 and Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, it is now the turn of the BMW Motorrad brand to present its vision of future motorcycle mobility for the coming decades.
"Our long-term corporate strategy, Number ONE > NEXT, focuses firmly on the customer and the experience of sustainable premium mobility. We want to offer our customers the ultimate in emotional products and innovative services ? today and in the future," said BMW AG's Management Board Chairman, Harald Kr?ger, as he opened the press conference on 11 October in Los Angeles.
The German automaker unveiled on Tuesday the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100, a self-balancing prototype.
The zero-emissions bike has self-balancing wheels designed to stand upright even at a complete stop, stability that the company says will allow riders to forgo riding a helmet.
BMW says that the assistance systems in the BMW Motorrad VISION NEXT 100 will not only anticipate and advise when action is needed but also intervene, when required, to keep riders safe. Protective clothing such as helmets and padded suits will no longer be needed. "Instead, riders will simply be able to enjoy the sensation of absolute freedom," according to BMW.
A key assistance system in this Vision Vehicle is the Self-Balancing mechanism, which keeps the motorcycle balanced both while in motion and while stationary, and prevents it from tipping over. Information is exchanged between rider and bike largely via the smart visor. This spans the rider?s entire field of view and provides not only wind protection but also relevant information, which it projects straight into the line of sight as and when it is needed.
Company representatives said that riding without a helmet remains a fantasy for now, though.
Self-balancing technology is still in the developmental stage -- if the latest concept vehicle becomes a reality, it likely won't be before 2030.
The world's top maker of luxury vehicles has also premiered this year a futuristic BMW sports car with a flexible body, as well as a self-driving Rolls-Royce and an electric Mini model.
The MINI VISION NEXT 100 will be available to everybody at all times, picking drivers up autonomously from wherever they like and adjusting its appearance, driving characteristics and connectivity to suit the user's personal lifestyle. New, customised mobility with the MINI VISION NEXT 100 builds on connected digital intelligence.
Fully autonomous, the Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100 is a luxuriousautonomous vehicle featuring a virtual assistant that not only drives the vehicle but also "fulfils the occupants' every wish throughout the journey." The vehicle will be powered by a zero-emission drivetrain.