It’s clear that the line between technology and cars is beginning to blur – and it’s a trend we’re starting to see on two wheels as well. At an event in Los Angeles earlier this week, BMW unveiled the Motorrad Vision Next 100, and it’s a glimpse into the future of transport on two wheels.
BMW’s concept bike is designed to predict the future of transport, so it packs in cutting-edge technology to make riding even safer. Significantly, the concept bike features a gyroscopic element that ensures it never falls over – so riders don’t have to wear protective clothing or helmets. BMW says this self-righting feature will make riding easier for beginners, but it’ll also give more experienced motorcyclists the confidence to push the bike even harder.
A virtual visor
Connected data sharing will have a huge role to play in the future of transport, and BMW has found a way to implement this into its new bike concept, too. Limited dash space means the BMW displays all the info you’d need on a digital visor, which appears to be a pretty slick solution. BMW says the visor will be controlled by the rider’s eye movements, and will only display as much or as little content as they require.
“A key point with the BMW Motorrad Vision Next 100 was to make sure the constant digital presence doesn’t undermine the analogue riding experience,” explains Holger Hampf, head of user experience at the BMW Group. “The display and operating concept works so subtly that the rider can enjoy an entirely natural biking experience, trusting the bike completely and enjoying complete freedom and ease. As interface designers, our job is to deliver the right amount of the right information at the best possible time and place.”
Teaching you how to ride
In addition to displaying key bits of data, the visor will include other features such as a Siri-like Digital Companion. This will give riders a chance to improve their riding – and will stop the bike from crashing if necessary. As you’d expect, one of the visor’s modes also acts like a rear-view mirror, making riding safer and more informed.
As you’d expect from any sort of concept vehicles nowadays, the Motorrad Vision Next 100 also features an all-electric powertrain – despite looking a lot like it uses BMW’s famous boxer engine.
In addition to the new digital aspects, the Motorrad Vision Next 100 features a new type of steering too, ditching the various joints you’d find on a usual bike for a “Flexframe”. BMW says turning the handlebars will adjust the entire frame, changing the direction of the bike while maintaining the stability. That means the bike’s steering could be very responsive at low speed, but stable and gradual at higher ones.
The Motorrad Vision Next 100 is the latest concept bike from the BMW Group, and is designed to show what transport will be like in the future. Although features such as the Flexframe steering seem less than feasible due to the huge costs and intricate manufacturing processes probably involved, I think the visor is a particularly good idea. Car drivers want to stay connected at all times and BMW’s solution gives much of the same connectivity.