Forget Ride By Wire — Steering By Wire Is Here
Honda Motor Company comes off as one of the big winners from the recent Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas, Nevada. Specifically, its self-balancing, Riding Assist motorcycle that utilizes Honda’s expertise in robotics to keep the bike upright at a standstill. I admit, that’s a pretty neat gadget, but the forks turn independent of the bars, which has got to feel weird and take some getting used to. That said, this is an extra layer of safety that many will appreciate, and coupled with Honda’s DCT transmission can make for a very good bike for folks with physical challenges.
Continue reading for more on Riding Assist.
What Is It?
According to the factory, "Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that Honda Riding Assist motorcycle, a concept model of Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle, which was exhibited at the CES 2017, the world’s largest consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow held in Las Vegas from January 5 – 8, 2017, won three awards. The Honda Riding Assist motorcycle won the Best of CES 2017 ’Best Innovation’ and ’Best Automotive Technology’ awards as judged by Engadget, the official partner of the Best of CES Awards, as well as the Popular Mechanics magazine’s Best of CES ’Editors’ Choice Awards.’
In a global debut at CES, Honda unveiled its Riding Assist technology, which leverages Honda’s robotics technology to create a self-balancing motorcycle that greatly reduces the possibility of falling over while the motorcycle is at rest. Rather than relying on gyroscopes, which add a great deal of weight and alter the riding experience as announced by other companies, the Honda Riding Assist incorporates technology originally developed for the company’s UNI-CUB personal mobility device. Honda Riding Assist is Honda’s proposal to make touring and everyday use of motorcycle more fun."
Best of all, the factory says that this technology can be fitted for use on existing motorcycles and won’t be limited to a special model or two. I see this as a definite improvement over the deployable training wheels some manufacturers have experimented with over the years, and although I’m not ready to turn over control of my steering to a computer, I reckon the time is coming where folks won’t bat an eye at such fandangled contraptions. What about you?