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BMW's motorcycle of the future doesn't require a helmet

The Motorrad Vision Next 100 would use self-balancing tech to keep you safe.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
October 12, 2016
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BMW has unveiled a slew of concept vehicles to mark its 100th birthday, but its fourth and last example might be the most daring. Its new Motorrad Vision Next 100 concept motorcycle would supposedly be so smart that you wouldn't need a helmet, or even a padded suit. The key would be a self-balancing system that keeps the bike upright whether or not you're moving -- newcomers wouldn't have to worry about toppling over, and veterans could push limits further than usual.

Also, notice the absence of the usual space for an instrument cluster? That's because you wouldn't need it. Most information would instead display through a smart visor that shows data as it becomes relevant. All told, you'd spend more time enjoying open air driving and less time worrying about your speed or range (BMW will only say that this is a "zero-emission" bike, but it'd likely be electric).

Like the other Vision Next 100 concepts, you're not going to see this exact motorcycle on the road any time soon. However, it might not just be due to the grand technological ambitions. While a self-balancing system could prevent you from crashing the bike yourself, it wouldn't protect you in many serious collisions. What if you're forcefully ejected from your vehicle? Regulators would likely require some kind of helmet, even if it's not as cumbersome as what you wear today.

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