General

The BMW R1200GS that talks

A bit like Knight Rider, except it won't solve crime

FOR some, part of the appeal of motorcycling is the solitude – just you and the road, with no one to interrupt your thoughts or hear your mutterings. 

Well, now there is something to butt in and answer you back. Two Intel engineers have developed a system for the BMW R1200GS that allows the bike to talk to the rider, and vice versa.

‘What’s my bike status?’ a riders asks, in a demo video on YouTube. His helmet, which is connected wirelessly to the bike via his Android phone, responds: ‘Bike okay to ride, tyre pressure okay, oil level okay, battery okay, engine okay, bike currently in Sport mode.’

Think of it as a bit like KITT from the 1980s TV show Knight rider, except instead of helping you solve crime, it gives you directions and automatically sends you to a petrol station when you’re running low.

According to Intel engineer Stephanie Moyerman, 29, from Philadelphia, it also has potential safety applications including telling you when something is in your blind spot.

‘Safety is one of the big ones,’ she said. ‘You could put range sensors so that the phone can alert you if there’s someone in your blind spot. Things like that in cramped spaces are incredibly cool.’

According to Moyerman, the project is currently for research purposes rather than product development, so it's unclear if or when we'll see it on a production bike.

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