Perhaps you have read or heard about how some automobile companies are currently developing autonomous or self-driving cars. While it seems that widespread use of such vehicles is years in the future, the idea does have merit. If the technology were somehow perfected, it would likely dramatically decrease the number of traffic accidents that occur every year on our roads and highways.
While some motorists may want to hand their driving responsibilities over to machines, it is highly improbable that any motorcyclists would ever want to follow suit. So we can pretty much count on humans to always be in control of motorcycles, right? Well, believe it or not, Yamaha has already found a way to take humans out of the saddle, or more precisely, the company has built a robot that can ride a motorcycle.
This robot, that in a video calls itself "Motobot," can actually operate a throttle, brakes and gearshift as it road tests a motorcycle all by itself. Reportedly, once the technology is improved, Motobot will be able to outdo human riders. Eventually, Motobot's prime directive will be to test ride motorcycles in order to help Yamaha learn how to make improvements on the future designs of their vehicles.
Using Motobot as a test rider is actually a good idea. After all, if a motorcycle that is being tested has a flaw, then it is better to endanger a robot than a human. However, motorcycles are intended for the use and pleasure of humans, who are flesh and blood rather than metal and computer parts.
When a motorcyclist is run off the road or struck by a negligent driver, he or she will likely be seriously injured, unlike Motobot that can be rebuilt. When humans suffer injuries, they may never fully recover. In addition, humans will also have expenses associated with their injuries.
If you or a member of your family should be harmed in a motorcycle accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you get appropriate compensation.
Source: Fast Company, "Would You Let This Creepy Robot Drive You Around?," Adele Peters, Nov. 30, 2015