Honda made some interesting announcements at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, among them collaborations with Visa, DreamWorks Animation and a number of start-up companies. All part of what Honda calls the “Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem,” which unites artificial intelligence, big data and robotics. Of particular interest to two-wheeled riders is Honda’s Moto Riding Assist technology.
The Honda Moto Riding Assist platform is self-balancing. Honda utilized technology from its UNI-CUB personal mobility device to develop the prototype, instead of relying on gyroscopes to achieve the self-balancing effect. There’s not much else described in the press release about Riding Assist though, such as if there are any plans for production or how effective the system is at present.
Motorcycles that maintain balance aren’t all that new, at least in prototype form. BMW promised the functionality in its VISION NEXT 100 concept debuted during the BMW Group Future Experience last October in Los Angeles. Then there’s the C-1 from Lit Motors, which is a motorcycle/car hybrid that makes use of self-balancing technology. And apart from that, there’s also Yamaha’s efforts to develop a robot rider in its Motobot. There seems to be no end to the work being put in to removing human input from riding.
Honda is a gargantuan company with plenty of experience in forward-thinking technologies, particularly as a result of its robotics work. In such hands it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see Riding Assist on the road in a span of years rather than decades.