Goodyear is touting its 117 years of tire-making experience at this year’s Geneva International Motor Show, but it is the years ahead that are concerning the American tire brand right now.
Debuting its Eagle-360 spherical tire concept, Goodyear envisions a future where your current tires looks practically two-dimensional in their thinking, and where the contact patch that connects us to the roadway will evolve into a three-dimensional form.
The concept is likely little more than an attempt at grabbing headlines and pretending relevancy, as there is virtually no current demand from automanufacturers for a spherical tire solution.
That notion is compounded by Goodyear’s attempt to link the Eagle-360 to the rise of autonmous vehicles, as if the two things have anything to do with each other. Still, there is something intriguing here.
Yamaha’s Motobot was one of the bigger announcements to come from 2015, with the motorcycle riding humanoid robot promising to garner Yamaha a great deal of information about several key industries, as well as some headlines along the way.
Showing off the Yamaha Motobot at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Yamaha has made public a very ambitious schedule for Motobot, for the coming years. The most daunting task from Yamaha? To have Motobot making laps on a race track by 2017, at over 200 km/h (125 mph).
Let’s face it, we knew this day would come. Technology has finally progressed to the point where our beloved past time of riding motorcycles can now be done by a robot. Sarah Connor was right. Skynet is coming. I, for one, welcome our robot overlords.
As tinfoil hat as we can make this story, let’s be honest…it’s pretty cool that Yamaha is developing a humanoid robot that can ride a motorcycle. It’s sorta creepy, but it’s also really cool.
To help lighten the blow, Yamaha is playing off its “Motobot” with a little bit of humor, having the machine taunt factory MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi, and suggesting that one day the robot will beat the
ten-time nine-time World Champion at what he does best.
That’s fun and all, and it certainly grabs headlines, but the Yamaha Motobot is a really big deal for a lot more reasons that are less obvious than what has been put forth. Let me explain.
The long-awaited Episode 5 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is now up for your listening pleasure. Apologies for it taking so long, but I had to celebrate another rotation around the sun, which sort of got in the way of editing the show this past weekend.
We think you’ll find this episode worth the wait though, and I personally think it’s our best show yet (there’s only five of them though, so I guess that statement has a fairly low bar to beat).
In the show we talk about the Yamaha R1S, the new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, Nicky Hayden going to World Superbike, riding the Aprilia RSV4 RR, and trying out the new Icon Airframe Pro Carbon helmet.
You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. Cheers!
Insert the obvious SkyNet joke here, but the future of two-wheeled transportation is constantly moving ahead of us, to a place previously held only by science-fiction.
We have talked here at Asphalt & Rubber a great deal about connected and autonomous vehicles and its related technologies – insert a massive number of links here – and today we just got a little bit closer to all those concepts becoming realized.
Announcing their latest collaboration, BMW, Honda, and Yamaha have agreed to develop cooperative-intelligent transportation systems (C-ITS) for motorcycles, the first step in adding vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication to motorcycles.
The three companies will work together to establish a a consortium named Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC), which aims to have C-ITS devices on the three motorcycle brands from 2020 onwards.
We have talked a great deal about autonomous vehicles here at Asphalt & Rubber, but usually the focus of that discussion has been about how autonomous four-wheel vehicles will interact with non-autonomous two-wheeled vehicles.
The time was sure to come though when a motorcycle OEM played with the idea of autonomous motorcycles, and that time is now.
Releasing early details about its autonomous motorcycle program, Honda Motor Corp. is staggeringly close to making the act of riding a motorcycle as simple as selecting a destination, and holding on tight.
In a comprehensive report of various automobile safety systems, the American Automobile Association (AAA) released intriguing findings about blindspot monitoring systems, with some thoughts as how they pertain to motorcycles.
While the driver aid systems are exactly that, systems designed to aid a driver in operating a passenger vehicle safely, AAA found that not only were drivers relying on them to heavily, in lieu of safe driving practices, but also that in certain situations the systems operated sub-optimally.
The study’s findings that pertain the most to motorcyclists are those on blindspot monitor systems, which AAA found have a hard time detecting fast-moving vehicles, and often served warnings too late for an evasive action to take place by the automobile driver.
No sooner has Google built its first autonomous car, and been granted its autonomous vehicle driving license in the State of California, than the Silicon Valley company has begun paving the way for autonomous two-wheeled transportation.
Writing an email to the State of California to do away with legal wording that restricts autonomous vehicle licenses just to cars, Google’s Ron Medford hopes to allow driverless/riderless trucks and motorcycles on city streets, provided they prove the same safety standards as with Google’s autonomous car program.
“It is certainly possible that future testing could include motorcycles or larger commercial vehicles,” said Medford in his email. “If some innovator can demonstrate that testing autonomous technology on such vehicles is safe, then they should be allowed to test.”
Californian motorists should brace themselves, as the Golden State is poised to let autonomous vehicles onto its roadways, en masse. Announcing that it will begin taking applications for driverless vehicle licenses starting in July, California will begin granting autonomous vehicles access to its roads in September of this year.
The decision is part of a larger nationwide push for autonomous vehicles, a topic we have covered at length here on Asphalt & Rubber, and accordingly something that the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) have finally taken an interest in participating on an advisory level.
Big news dropped today in the world of automobiles and motorcycles. The US Department of Transportation (DOT), along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has announced that the vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) is a step closer to becoming a reality in the United States.
The DOT has decided to move forward with plans to mandate V2V systems for light on-road vehicles, i.e. cars and presumably motorcycles as well. The technology is complex to implement, but the concept is fairly simple: vehicles broadcast their direction, speed, and relative speed to one another — 10 times every second — in an effort to avoid collisions.
V2V enables other vehicles near by to gauge whether or not a collision or safety concern is about to happen between the two vehicles, and alert the drivers to avoid an accident. In essence, V2V is the first active safety system for automobiles — i.e. we are now enabling safety systems that prevent accidents, rather than just lessening the severity of them.
We have talked at great lengths here at Asphalt & Rubber about what V2V can mean for motorcyclists, especially as autonomous vehicles use the communications system and become more prevalent on the road. In the long-term, V2V will introduce a huge shift in our driving culture, and it is not clear what the means for motorcyclists.
The movement of transportation as a commodity continues, as California has become the second state to legalize the use of automated cars on its roadways (Nevada was first).
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law today SB 1298, which specifically legalizes the use of autonomous vehicles, as long as a licensed and bonded operator is in the vehicle’s driver seat.
Essentially legitimizing what was a legal grey-area, what the bill does does explicitly is green-light more autonomous vehicle projects in the Golden State.
With applications from the trucking industry to the car-sharing, and everything in-between, the advent of autonomous four-wheelers signals an interesting, yet scary, future for motorcyclists.
According to former Ford/Chrysler/GM-man Bob Lutz, self-driving cars could be the norm in as few as 20 years — an idea the could materially change the driving landscape as we know it.
As autonomous vehicles become increasing the status quo on the road, user-guided vehicles like motorcycles will become greater outliers, and could face a tyranny of the majority.