ARTIFICIAL Intelligence is a hot topic at the moment. Whether it’s in the form of gadgets that you can talk at – like Amazon’s Alexa or a Google Home – or warnings from the likes of Elon Musk that AI could lead to WW3, it’s never far from the news.
Now Yamaha is adding it to a bike. Well, to a concept bike, anyway.
A few weeks ago we revealed that Yamaha was developing something called MOTOROiD. We knew it was something clever, potentially electric and maybe self-riding. But we didn’t quite expect it to be this; the MOTOROiD concept (picture above) that will appear at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 25.
Yamaha hasn’t given much detail on its abilities, but it does claim that the battery-powered machine has artificial intelligence. It’s apparently capable of ‘recognising its owner and interacting in other capacities like a living creature.’
Now that might just mean it says ‘Hello’ when you walk into the garage. Or it could mean it’s a full-on, self-riding, autonomous motorcycle that will follow you around like a pet dog – not unlike Honda’s Riding Assist Concept, in fact. Or perhaps it will turn out like the HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey:
“Open the garage door, MOTOROiD.”
“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that… I know that you were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen…”
MOTOROiD threatens to make Yamaha’s earlier MOTOBOT concept seem almost low-tech. The bike-riding robot will appear in its ‘Version 2’ form at the Tokyo show, having first been shown two years ago. Capable of riding an unmodified bike, the humanoid MOTOBOT has apparently met its initial goal of lapping a circuit at high speed. Yamaha says it has also challenged Valentino Rossi to a battle of lap times and is currently holding a poll on its website where you can vote for who you reckon will have won the contest. Our money is on Vale.