Yamaha explore combining motorcycles with artificial intelligence

A few weeks prior to the start of the Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha released a list of the products it will be showcasing in its pavilion. Along with the autonomous Motobot and an enigmatic electric quadricycle, the Motoroid prototype, an artificial intelligence application for motorcycles, stands out.

The Tokyo Motor Show has long served as the national platform for Japanese automakers to share a sneak peek at how they envision the future of transportation. At this twice-yearly gathering, numerous prototypes have had their international premieres, and the 45th iteration of Japan’s most renowned auto show continues this tradition.

Yamaha has now followed suit with its own Motoroid concept after Honda previously announced that it would demonstrate its self-riding motorcycle technology. The entire concept revolves around integrating artificial intelligence into a motorcycle, and it appears that in Tokyo, we will witness a hands-on demonstration in the form of a prototype motorcycle, in contrast to Kawasaki’s recent Radeology concept, which was purely conceptual and was only shown in a video.

Yamaha has only so far revealed that their Motoroid prototype can recognize its owner and communicate with them as if they were living things. Though there is undoubtedly room for speculation in this, the recent road safety program launched by BMW, Honda, and Yamaha directs our thoughts in a particular way. In any case, as soon as the Tokyo Motor Show kicks off on October 27, we’ll learn more about what Yamaha’s prototype is capable of.

This is not the first time Yamaha has been interested in the idea of autonomous cars; two years ago, the Motobot served as the focal point of its Tokyo display. The Yamaha R1 superbike has the ability to lap a racetrack entirely on its own, and for 2017, Yamaha will demonstrate the most recent improvements.

Yamaha claims that the intermediate goal of safely reaching 200 km/h (124 mph) was accomplished in 2017 as expected, and the Motobot’s next goal is the 2020 goal of competing against Valentino Rossi on the racetrack, which is his natural environment.

The Motobot does have some devoted fans in South America and the Middle East, but Yamaha has set up an online poll to get people’s opinions on the topic, and the results reveal that most people think Rossi can never lose to the robot.

The MWC-4, an electric-powered leaning multi-wheel concept car from Yamaha, will be unveiled in Tokyo. The Tricity three-wheeler is the only production model that Yamaha has so far produced from its extensive experimentation with the leaning multi-wheeler theme over the past ten years. Other prototypes include the Tesseract, the OR2T, and the MWT-9 idea from the previous Tokyo Motor Show.

All of the aforementioned are propelled by traditional gasoline engines, however Yamaha chose zero-emission technology for the MWC-4. The section where Yamaha claims that attitude-control technology was used to give it a ride like no other and a level of comfort not found with a traditional motorbike is what’s most intriguing about it, not its source of power. It certainly sounds intriguing, whatever it implies.

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