How do motorcycles fit in to a self-driving world?
The devil himself
Safe driving tech has been gaining traction in recent years, with cars doing more and more of the driving. A fully autonomous vehicles is likely years off thankfully. What might that future look like though? Since the possibility of self driving bubbles remains we must prepare for the worst. I mean look at the boom in popularity of those nasty crossovers or whatever they are calling that segment now. It has taken off due to safety features like, self breaking, lane departure assist, and good crash ratings. All so people feel more comfortable spending more time on their phone instead of driving. Our society is trending towards enjoying having to do as little as possible for themselves and it might spell disaster for petrol heads and riders alike.
How Would a Motorcycle Fit?
Given the putrid failure of early self driving cars, we will have to assume that 100% of cars are self driving in this hopefully fictional world. Unfortunately, this means the proposition of adding human error and unpredictability back into the equation will likely be strictly prohibited. Revolution! Will be the call from petrol heads everywhere. However, as we know the government is not interested in the will of the people. In a safety conscious future, the trade off might be deemed worth it by those in power. So where does the motorcyclist fit? Nowhere it seems.
Or is There Hope?
Wait you just said there was no where to go. Yes, yes I did, but that might be a little short sighted. In the future the mass urbanization will likely continue giving rise to massive cities where most of the population will spend a majority of their existence. Track days wouldn't have to go away in this rainy future. We could still take our favorite sport bike or car to the local track to speed round as fast as we can. This might preserve some driving joy, but not for everyone. Not everyone is interested in the track, for some strange reason. But for these people who just want to ride another solution must be found.
Outside these cities could be a good place to allow the freedom motorcyclist are after. Why not have a full self driving city center and within city limits but let people who want to enjoy some twisty roads outside? This would be a reasonable request, yes? I mean then we could design roads outside the city that are made specifically for motorcycles and have a blast every weekend.
Where I want to be
The Optimal Outcome
That is thankfully reasonable. Another possibility is that the market continues towards safer vehicles with self driving tech, but that are not completely autonomous. I mean we should be excited about some of these advancements. A feature that might help stop that on driver who always wants to pull out because they didn't see you or runs into the back of you because they were texting. Car guys and motorcyclists can agree, the less impacts to our prized machines the better.
What do y'all think about self driving vehicles? Will it happen or just a bubble wrapped world's pipe dream? Let me know in the comments!