Honda Motorcycles has just revealed the Honda Riding Assist, which leverages its motorcycle to self-balance itself without the help of any gyroscope or a rider. The Honda Riding Assist makes use of the Balance Control Technology to self-balance the vehicle.
CES 2017 (Consumer Electronics Show) is held in Las Vegas, USA, which has been a centre point for companies to showcase their latest technology to the media as well as consumers. Car and motorcycle manufacturers have been using this event to showcase their technological breakthroughs to the world.
The Balance Control Technology used for the Honda Riding Assist is borrowed from the UNI-CUB personal mobility device which was also showcased at the CES 2017. The Honda Riding Assist technology is incorporated on the Honda NC750, which provides us with the hope that the technology will be introduced in the future. As of now, Honda has not revealed whether the technology will be introduced in its range of motorcycles. The Honda Riding Assist self-balances the vehicle by moving ahead the front forks while using the front wheel to balance the bike.
Honda Riding Assist technology also comes equipped with the follow the rider function, which allows the bike to automatically follow the rider by tapping on the front fender of the bike. Honda Riding Assist technology will help riders in easily bigger and heavy bikes at slow speeds in heavy city traffic. It will be interesting to see the implementation of this technology in adventure touring motorcycles and cruisers.
Honda’s new Riding Assist motorcycle model isn’t a shipping product yet, but it is an impressive technical demo. The concept at CES showed how it can help motorcycles maintain balance while traveling at low speed, something particularly tricky for even experienced drivers.
Speeds between 2 and 3 mph actually prove among the most challenging in terms of making sure a motorcycle stays upright, and Honda’s leveraging lessons learned from its development of Asimo the robot and its UNI-CUB rideable scooter-like transport to make sure bikes can manage balancing themselves, or assist human riders in keeping them level at those low speeds.
Riding Assist converts the motorcycle’s front fork from a standard geometry position to one more aggressively angled, which you might recognize as something closer to the geometry of a cruiser motorcycle designed for more leisurely speeds. The adjusted angle helps increase stability, and is managed by a dedicated motor attached to the front wheel.
Honda showed me Ride Assist working with a motorcycle travelling under its own speed: there were two pegs on either side to make sure it could rest when the system wasn’t engaged, but it succeeded in meandering out under its own power without falling over one way or the other, even when the handlebars angled in either direction.
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