Yamaha unveiled self-driving motorbike that can recognize its owner from a distance

Yamaha wants MOTOROiD 2 to act more like a pet than a motorbike
  • MOTOROiD is Yamaha’s revolutionary autonomous motorbike
  • It has no handlebars or standard controls, but rather a futuristic-looking haptic panel called LEAF
  • There are three unique ways to ride the bike, including a hands-free standing-up position

Published on Apr 8, 2024 at 6:39PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Apr 8, 2024 at 6:43PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

Yamaha’s MOTOROiD 2 is a motorbike like no other.

It’s self-balancing, totally autonomous, and uses a hidden camera to recognize its owner.

Oh, and it has no handlebars or standard controls.

In fact, the Japanese manufacturer says the bike feels more like a ‘lifetime companion’ than a motorbike.

A bold claim, if ever we’ve heard one.

READ MORE: Rimac CEO teases autonomous robotaxi that will ‘change the lives of more people’

Self-driving vehicles are booming in popularity, from the car designed to let drivers sleep during journeys to the autonomous KFC food truck.

The MOTOROiD 2 is the next generation of Yamaha’s self-driving bikes, first announced in 2017.

In exclusive footage from the launch, Supercar Blondie’s Alex Hirschi got to see the futuristic bike herself.

Several elements make this motorbike one-of-a-kind, including social recognition software and a riding position called the ‘centaur’.

Yamaha wanted the MOTOROiD 2 to feel like a companion animal that has a connection and is reactive to its owner.

The bike detects when its owner is approaching using a tiny camera in its front.

Similar to commanding a dog, the owner can use gestures or their voice to direct their bike to stop, go, or accompany them as they walk.

When in cruise mode, a sci-fi-inspired front panel called ‘LEAF’ unfolds where handlebars would typically be found.

This haptic device senses when the rider gets on and off the bike and uses their body language to adjust the self-driving functionality accordingly.

Thanks to LEAF, riders have two alternative riding positions besides the conventional motorcycle riding style.

You can also ride in a jockey position, resting your knees on the bike’s built-in knee-holds, or in a centaur-like stance – standing up.

This would mean riders would have their hands free, changing the experience of riding a motorbike completely.

Yamaha has developed several advanced technologies that enable the MOTOROiD 2 to perform in such a unique way.

One of these is the Active Mass Center Control System (AMCES), which helps the bike maintain balance, whether there’s a rider on it or not.

The bike is also equipped with special cameras that can capture images in four directions, including the rider’s face.

Yamaha intends for the MOTOROiD 2 to adjust its driving based on the rider’s facial expressions.

Additionally, the manufacturer is developing technology to enable the rider to control the bike using hand signals.

As can be seen in the footage, MOTOROiD 2 moves like it’s a butterfly or a flower, graceful and organic.

Many have praised the bike for its innovation and undeniably cool exterior.

“We’re gonna see one of these in the next Mission Impossible or Fast & Furious movie,” one commenter said.

Others have been less impressed, stating that inventions like MOTOROiD 2 take the fun out of driving.

“Sorry, a real biker wouldn’t go anywhere near this,” another commenter said.

As it’s still in the concept stages, it’s unclear when we’ll see MOTOROiD take to the streets, either in a film or in real life.

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