Yamaha Unveils Artificial Intelligence Motorcycle Motoroid 2: Gesture Control, Facial Recognition – Is Motorcycling Heading Towards Autonomous Driving?

In 2017, Yamaha showcased the MOTOROiD self-balancing motorcycle, and now, with a more bold and avant-garde design, it returns as MOTOROiD2. This concept motorcycle can balance its own weight, park itself, and recognize its owner from a distance. Not to mention its miraculous technology, its appearance alone screams futuristic. Its unique features and unconventional design allow us to catch a glimpse of the future of two-wheeled motorcycles.

The core technology enabling MOTOROiD2 to maintain self-balance lies in its unique rear swingarm design. Similar to traditional motorcycle swingarms, it provides suspension functions, but it includes an additional set of movable axis joints, allowing the rear half of the motorcycle to move independently from the front half, tilting in different directions. The first-generation MOTOROiD had already achieved the feat of the vehicle standing upright on its own by deploying a kickstand.

After the motorcycle balances itself by tilting the rear body, Yamaha’s developed AMCES automatic balance control system quickly assesses the vehicle’s status using artificial intelligence, exerting slight forces continuously to keep the motorcycle standing upright, thereby realizing the dream of automatic motorcycle driving.

Compared to the first generation, the most significant change in MOTOROiD2 is in the front half of the body. Notably, the motorcycle lacks traditional handlebars, which have been replaced by handles on the sides of the front part, indicating that future motorcycles might not need human control but could be directed to the destination using artificial intelligence technology.

Yamaha’s motivation behind developing MOTOROiD was likely influenced by numerous Japanese manga. They aimed to create a motorcycle that serves as a companion, incorporating many biomimetic designs. In the second generation, they enhanced the streamlined design, making the entire vehicle resemble an unknown creature from outer space. This eerie feeling intensifies when the seat (or what appears to be a seat) rises to its highest point.

Regarding power, it is fully electric, with the motor seemingly located at the rear axle, and the battery situated in the central part of the vehicle, covered by a white casing with gold accents. According to official statements, the vehicle incorporates AI facial and gesture recognition capabilities, with these processors likely housed inside the motorcycle’s front section.

Although this motorcycle is unlikely to be mass-produced in the short (or even medium) term, the rear swingarm twisting mechanism, coupled with the AMCES balance system, shows promising potential. Perhaps, when Yamaha successfully tackles the production of large heavy-duty electric motorcycles, this technology might have a chance to be commercialized.

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