Apparently the big wigs at Honda, BMW, and Yamaha haven’t watched the same documentaries on artificially intelligent system that I have, but Minority Report and Terminator are pretty clear about the results of giving those machine things too many smarts.
Ok, so this isn’t exactly the Rise Of The Machines, but it still is interesting to see where this is all heading.
BMW announced yesterday that they were working with Honda and Yamaha to form something called the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC) so brands could work together to standardize the intelligent systems they’re developing - much like what has happened with cars.
“In order to speed up more motorcycle-specific safety developments, we intend to cooperate to promote a successful implementation of C-ITS in motorcycles and scooters,” says Mr Tetsuo Suzuki, Operating Officer at Honda Motor Co., Ltd..
Mr Takaaki Kimura, Chief General Manager of Technology Center and Executive Vice President and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor Co.Ltd. adds: “Our companies are already active members of the Car2Car Communication Consortium, in which we work with car and truck makers and other stakeholders on common specifications and standards. We came to realize that the specific requirements of motorcycles are beyond the scope of this consortium, however. The next logical step is to enter into a cooperation dedicated solely to the challenges relating to powered two-wheelers.”
“Our aim is to promote a timely and comprehensive use of cooperative ITS systems in powered-two wheelers offering the potential to improve safety. We therefore encourage other companies to join us,” explains Prof. Dr. Karl Viktor Schaller, Executive Vice President Development BMW Motorrad.
All three brands are looking to have Cooperative-Intelligent Transportation Systems (C-ITS) on motorcycles by the year 2020.
These systems would first be used to help traffic and GPS programs determine the fastest routing for riders, although phone apps already do this and I doubt we’ll navigation duties move from phones to on-bike systems anytime soon.
The possibilities from there are pretty endless. In 2006, a Suzuki Bandit was developed with something called Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA), which used GPS data to electronically limit the speed of the bike to the speed limit.
The idea of using information collected from the bike for traffic and rerouting purposes isn’t too terrifying, but interfering with the performance of the bike through limiting the speed, brake assist, or adaptive cruise control are a different story. Motorcycle performance is affected by so many different factors that the idea of the bike being subject to inputs I’m not making is pretty unsettling.
I want to get in my car and play angry birds until it drives me to my destination as much as the next guy, but I don’t really want to play while sitting on top of a bike. Fuck you, Skynet.