Autonomous, or driverless, cars are a concept most of us are familiar with and testing has been taking place on public roads. But how would you handle a riderless motorcycle?

In a recent media preview at the BMW Motorrad Techday 2018 in Miramas, France, an autonomous motorcycle, a BMW R 1200 GS, was put through the paces. The demonstration showed the R 1200 GS ride off (without a rider), accelerate, navigate a test track and slow down to a stop, without human intervention.

However, BMW Motorrad says it has no plans for completely eliminating the rider or developing an independent motorcycle. Instead, the technology behind BMW’s autonomous bike will be used to as a basis for developing systems and functions to improve motorcycle safety.

The autonomous motorcycle prototype will be used to gather data to improve riding safety and comfort. This includes detection of dangerous road situations such as turning at intersections or when braking suddenly and the technology developed will be applied to both two- and four-wheelers.

In addition BMW Motorrad also presented other future technology applicable to motorcycles, such as luminous motorcycle headlights, cornering lights and laser headlights. Also shown was a motorcycle frame manufactured completely using a 3D printing process, including a rear swinging arm.