Yamaha is already working on a Motobot road motorcycle that rides itself and is now developing an autonomous self-driving off-road vehicle.
While most car manufacturers are developing and testing self-drive vehicles there has been limited work done on autonomous vehicles by motorcycle manufacturers.
Honda and BMW have only developed self-balancing bikes that assist riders by not falling over when stopped.
Meanwhile, Yamaha Motor R&D says they will produce a self-riding commercially available motorcycle by 2026.
Yamaha has invested up to US$20m in a Californian company working on autonomous vehicles, robotics and drones and US$2m in a US start-up called Veniam for its connected vehicle know-how.
This investment has now produced the fully autonomous Viking VI (AS-X1) off-road vehicle as featured in this Yamaha YouTube video.
“Each key technology in perception, planning, and control can be used for fun and comfortable driving in the future,” Yamaha Motor R&D says.
We’re not sure how much fun you can have when the bike or ATV does all the riding/driving for you, but there would certainly be some uses for autonomous vehicles in the courier sector.
The Yamaha Viking VI AS-X1 features include a custom drive-by-wire system, navigation sensors with point-to point-navigation.
Perhaps a use for such a vehicle would be in bush rescues.
Meanwhile, they say their target is in assisting the rider who can focus more on safety if the machine they are riding can handle some autonomous functions.