Google Lobbies For Autonomous Motorcycles

Google has apparently started lobbying the state of California to allow the testing of autonomous motorcycles on its roads. Ron Medford, the director of safety for Google's autonomous car program, wrote the following to California's state government:

“It is certainly possible that future testing could include motorcycles or larger commercial vehicles,” he wrote. “If some innovator can demonstrate that testing autonomous technology on such vehicles is safe, then they should be allowed to test.”

This is probably not an idle request. Anthony Levandowski, who now works for Google, developed the autonomous Ghostrider robot motorcycle, which I covered in a story (with video) I wrote ten years ago.

Here is a more recent picture of Levandowski, and a more recent version of his autonomous motorcycle.


(Levandowski with Ghostrider motorcycle)

The 2009 movie Terminator Salvation featured a self-balancing autonomous motorcycle. Also, the excellent 2009 novel Daemon by Daniel Suarez also featured the weaponized razorback autonomous motorcycle .

SF fans recall an earlier reference to the idea of a self-balancing, robotic motorcycle - the smart bike in Bruce Sterlings 1998 novel Distraction.

Via The Sunday Times.

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