Yamaha plans self-riding bike by 2026

Yamaha Motobot, a robot that rides a motorcycle tests

Yamaha plans to have an automated self-riding motorcycle available within a decade, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The Japanese motorcycle company has already run tests with their Motobot, a robot riding a special motorcycle with outrigger wheels which they claim will beat Rossi’s lap times on several race tracks around the world later this year.

Most car companies are already testing self-drive cars and believe they will have them available for the market in the next few years.

However, Yamaha chief executive Hiroyuki Yanagi told the Financial Times it would take at least a decade before autonomous technology was available on a commercial basis for motorcycles.

“Our current target is how to assist the rider,” he said. “The rider can focus more on safety if the machine handling becomes autonomous and artificial intelligence can be used for course selection.”

Yamaha Robot plans
Motobot in action

Yamaha has invested of up to US$20m in a Californian company working on autonomous vehicles, robotics and drones and in February, invested US$2m in a US start-up called Veniam for its connected vehicle know-how.

Technological rider intervention is already available with ABS brakes, dynamic suspension adjustment, traction control and emergency braking assistance.

So far, only ABS is being considered mandatory in some countries, but it is only a matter of time before these hi-tech rider intervention systems become compulsory.

One day, autonomous riding may also be mandatory.

5 Comments

  1. That kinda defeats part of the reason why people get motorcycles, it takes away the feeling that you’re part of the machine and not just a piece of cargo essentially.

  2. Cars can have Park Assist, why can’t bikes have Wheelie Assist and Stoppie Assist? Maybe Honda can incorporate those into their DCT powertrain.
    I don’t care how the Yammie Motobot does against Valentino Rossi. I want to see Motobot lanesplit heavy traffic, maybe even through lanes composed of Google selfdrive cars just to see if it freaks them out.

  3. The mistakes riders make that get them hurt or killed are most often due to over extending themselves, the next major group of mistakes is in forgetting to look for dangers such as vehicles that are about to enter your space abruptly, staying in a drivers blind spot or not looking for oil or debris on the road. The final type of mistake is making a wrong choice in an emergency or panicking. An AI might be able to keep a rider from over cooking it or staying in a blind spot but that’s about it. Pillion passengers often fall off because they can’t anticipate the actions of the rider correctly and pillions have caused crashes when their mass has overridden the riders actions, so that being the case any bike where the rider is just a pillion is likely to crash more often and cause more harm to the riders simply because the rider won’t know what it’s doing.

  4. It now seems inevitable that cars will become fully automated. They are predicting that in the future people will no longer be permitted to drive. Although computer failures will cause accidents it will be safer because people make mistakes. Most accidents are caused by human error and not by vehicle failures. Cars will communicate with each other so they can follow more closely and avoid each other. Will they be able to adapt this technology to motorcycles?

    Which do you prefer, being the rider or being the pillion? If motorcycles become fully automated we all will become pillions. Will we have any reason to continue riding if everything is controlled by a computer and we just have to sit there and go with the flow of the traffic?

    1. You won’t even have to sit on the bike, You can just sit
      home watching reality tv shows while the bike goes out
      and has fun without you.
      This could be the biggest thing since helmets and seat belts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *