Level Five Supplies has signed a memorandum of understanding with AutoRD, UK-based developers of an autonomous motorcycle system.
The technology, which mimics how human riders control a motorcycle, co-ordinates braking, throttle and steering inputs, and includes automatic stand operation. This provides the basis for the development of advanced rider assistance functions (ARAS), as well as providing a platform for autonomous motorcycle and narrow track leaning vehicle (NTLV) development. This is expected to enable new opportunities for improving motorcycle safety and radically increase the accessibility of two-wheeled transport for riders with restricted mobility. In the future, it will provide the basis of safe, highly efficient, fully autonomous motorcycle-based city transport – accessible to all.
Developed initially using the innovative BMW C1 platform, the system can be adapted to other makes and models with relative ease and support from Level Five and AutoRD.
“Two-wheeled shared mobility platforms have recently experienced significant growth, alongside investment and innovations in autonomous vehicles, enabling greater safety on the road,” said Alex Lawrence-Berkeley, CEO of Level Five Supplies. “There are so many potential applications for this technology, from personal transport and tourism to getting riders who perhaps have given up their passion because of decreased personal mobility. Having a two-wheeled autonomous platform must be part of what we are able to offer mobility innovators.”
Dr. Torquil Ross-Martin, founder of AutoRD, said he was excited by the prospect of getting the company’s technology to a wider audience. “It’s not just about safety, but also reducing the number and size of vehicles on the road. Shared mobility platforms just won’t work if we continue to focus on large vehicles when we know the bulk of car use is just with one occupant.”
On the opportunity of working with Level Five, Torquil continued: “It’s common sense for us; Alex has championed our work in the past and he was the catalyst for one of our most important business relationships, so working together on a more formal basis is very exciting.”
As part of the MoU, the two companies are planning at least one live demonstration of the technology, as well as demonstrating how sensors such as LiDAR can be used on motorcycles.
“The physical control system is there and it will respond to commands just like any traditional road vehicle would,” said Torquil. “So what we’d say to autonomy stack developers is ‘don’t limit yourself to cars’, particularly when you consider much of Asia is on two wheels, not four!”.