Yamaha says they’re continuing development of their MotoBot robotic rider, first seen at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall.
When MotoBot was introduced, Yamaha said it was intended to aid in researching motorcycle safety and support systems. Apparently, they may have other plans for it as well, because now they say they’ve got a goal for the robotic rider: They want it to be able to lap a race circuit at an average speed of over 200 kph. Cue the theme song!
Theoretically, that’s still in keeping with their goal of improving rider safety. However, it opens up a lot of other possibilities as well. Think of a race series where every manufacturer had the same pilot, and competed on the strengths of their bikes alone? Boring, sure, but technically possible with MotoBot.
Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But the development of MotoBot is a reminder that, whether riders like it or not, technology is increasingly taking over the control of the machine from the human rider.