Honda was a breath of fresh air this year, at CES. Besides the emotional car teased in December, the company presented a self-balancing bike that, unlike its competitors, doesn’t rely on gyroscopes to stay upright #automagic
Honda Riding Assist will stay true to its name travelling at low speeds. The company has borrowed robot Asimo’s balancing tricks to keep the moto on two wheels without assistance from the driver. In fact, Honda was able to show the bike moving driver-less at the Las Vegas show. The secret is what they call electronic steer-by-wire system.
When the speed drops below 3mph, the handlebars from the front forks disengage and the driver gives control of the bike to the computer. This, in return, senses angles and turns and counteracts with opposite movements. The process prevents the moto from falling to one side or the other.
It’s not the first moto that can self-balance, mind you; Honda’s prototype, though, doesn’t require gyroscopes to do it. This means it is lighter than the competition. Bikers will feel safer at the wheel, without sensing the added weight. Beginners will be less stressed about tipping over (at least, that’s the goal), while older bikers will finally relax on the saddle.
It’s smart, good-looking, safe – so when will Riding Assist be available? There’s no release date in sight but the good reception at CES can give Honda the nudge needed to speed to manufacturing process up.