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.
What you are looking at is the Honda Riding Assist-e, a motorcycle concept that Big Red will be debuting at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, which starts next month.
Honda isn’t saying too much about the Riding Assist-e, but the main purpose seems to be showing off the company’s self-balancing control technology, which keeps the motorcycle upright by moving the front wheel.
This isn’t that different from the Honda Riding Assist concept from earlier this year, with an added “e” of course in the name. That designation of course is for the electric drivetrain that the concept is sporting.
The Honda Riding Assist-e concept is interesting as a motorcycle, but more intriguing is the technology and what motorcycles it could land on, in Honda’s lineup.
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is underway in Las Vegas right now, and while usually the event doesn’t have much overlap with the motorcycle industry, Honda has decided to use CES to unveil its “Riding Assist” technology. Honda Riding Assist is basically a creative technology package that allows a motorcycle to self-balance, without the use of gyroscopes. Honda achieves this by raking out the motorcycle’s front forks, and then balances the motorcycle by moving the front wheel back and forth – like you’ve probably seen skilled cyclists do at traffic lights. Big Red says that its work with making the Honda UNI-CUB helped create the balancing technology for two-wheelers, the Japanese brand has some clever implementations of its tech, including a mode where the motorcycle can follow you.