BMW Motorrad: The first 'connected' motorbike of the future

Connected Cars are making news all around the globe, but it looks like BMW is thinking a step ahead, after showcasing its driverless car, a part of its Vision Next 100 concept, the German automaker has unveiled a new concept, the BMW Motorrad. Conceptualized and made by BMW the Motorrad is a bike designed to enhance the riding experience in the connected world. The company claims this as an analog experience in a digital age because it gives the “ultimate riding” experience. “Motorcycling is about escaping from the everyday: the moment you straddle your bike, you are absolutely free. Your bike is The Great Escape”, says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad. The Motorcycle was displayed at BMW’s 100th anniversary celebration. The zero-emission, ‘self-balancing’ bike will stand upright when the rider has dismounted. The balancing systems also works out on the road to ensure a particularly agile and dynamic riding experience with even lighter handling, which seasoned riders will appreciate, and all the benefits of assistance systems to enhance their capabilities even further. The BMW Motorrad helps every biker become more proficient and enjoy an even more positive riding experience.

Triangular designed frame

The automaker claims that the triangular frame of the bike is thoughtfully designed by keeping in mind the first ever BMW motorcycle, R32 that was made in 1923. This Vision bike has been reinterpreted to form a functional sculpture linking the front and rear wheels with a dynamic sweep. The bearing and joints are not visible and the frame appears to be solo but combined as a whole. The arrangement of surfaces protects the rider from wind and weather as effectively as a full fairing.   BMW The Power Unit is fixed in the middle of the triangular frame which consists of zero-emissions drive unit. It is designed and created in the image of the traditional BMW boxer engine. When the bike is stationary, the power unit becomes compact and when the bike hits the road, the unit is extended outwards in order to improve aerodynamics and protect the rider from the elements. BMW says that the unique sensation of freedom is made possible by intelligent connectivity between rider, bike and the outside world – a combination that also allows the prediction of critical situations on the roads. In conjunction with the active assistance systems, these connected elements help keep riders of the BMW Motorrad in complete control of their ride, as well as anticipating what lies ahead and alerting the user when action is needed, they offer active rider protection and will consign the helmets and body protectors of today to the history books.  

“Visor” makes it easy

Being a connected bike, there needs to be an exchange of information between the rider and bike, thus, BMW has developed a virtual reality headset called “Visor”. It is a pair of data glasses that extends across the wearer’s entire field of vision. Moreover it protects the rider from the wind, it displays relevant data in one of four designated display areas. Everything is controlled by rider’s eye movements. For instance the data changes if the rider is looking up and vice versa. Similarly looking straight ahead switches the information off completely, leaving the rider to focus fully on biking experience. Information is only projected onto the visor on request, or to alert the rider to the fact that action is needed. When the rider look upwards the visor activates the rear-view function that allows the rider to see what is going on the road behind. When rider lowers the eyes to normal level, a menu pops up where the rider can choose the option by just pointing a finger. Map view is opened when the rider looks downwards where the rider can see which route has been selected. Holger Hampf, Head of User Experience at the BMW Group stated, “The bike has the full range of connected data from its surroundings and a set of intelligent systems working in the background, so it knows exactly what lies ahead.” “By collating the data it has gathered, it can suggest ideal lines and banking angles, or warn riders of hazards ahead. The Digital Companion’s advice not only helps novices to learn more about what they and their bikes can do. It also supports experienced riders by allowing them to challenge themselves and continuously improve their skills.” BMW has complemented this bike as “Great Escape” as it will give a connected experience to the bike riders. The company claims that the thought behind developing such a motorcycle is foreseeing a digital world in the near future, where most vehicles will be driverless, and people will depend on the digital services. Looks like BMW Motorrad will completely change the experience of bike-riding in real time!

Abhinav Mohapatra

An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’ <!--more-->An author who has a keen interest for the ‘off-beat’, he has covered and explored multiple facets of the marketing, advertising

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