Artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR)…these are the three bid buzzwords of Silicon Valley right now. So, it shouldn’t surprise us to see the motorcycle industry blindly latching onto them, in order to keep some sort of relevance in the space.
From the manufacturers, we have seen more than a few mentions of how the motorcycles of the future will use artificial intelligence to improve the two-wheeled experience, though with virtually none of the brands talking about how an AI-powered motorcycle would be better…or even work.
Yamaha has finally made the jump though with its MOTOROiD concept, taking AI and viewing the technology through the company’s long-term focus with “kando” – the Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.
For artificial intelligence implementation on motorcycles, Yamaha plans on using AI at first to interpret signals and actions for human riders, in order to control the motorcycle platform.
This starts with simple hand signals to move the motorcycle around a parking lot or garage, but one can extrapolate how AI can begin to learn the on-road needs of a rider as well.
In the short video below, Yamaha also explains some of the other features of the MOTOROiD concept, like its self-balancing actuation, its electric drivetrain, and its haptic feedback systems.
The self-balancing technology is particularly of note. It’s called Active Mass Center Control System (AMCES), and unlike the Honda unit which moves the front wheel of the motorcycle to balance it, AMCES uses the rear wheel and chassis to keep things on a level.
This requires a unique chassis design, and Yamaha’s employs the lithium-ion battery pack on the MOTOROiD as a counter-weight. Very trick.