Kawasaki announces development of hybrid bikes and AI assistants technology
While Honda is working on mind-reading technology for motorcycles, Kawasaki has announced that it has started the development of hybrid technology and bikes with artificial intelligence.
After unveiling an electric prototype at Eicma 2019, Kawasaki says that it is exploring the "possibilities of hybrid technology". As the name suggests, the technology combines a small "clean running" petrol-powered powertrain with an electric motor and battery power.
"Addressing the contemporary issues of overall electric vehicle range and the trend for many cities across the world to declare zero-emission credentials, the new hybrid two-wheeler is still at an early stage but illustrates well the diversity of Kawasaki research into emerging vehicle systems," says Masanori Inoue, General Manager of Marketing and Sales at Kawasaki.
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While the details about the exact nature of technology the Japanese motorcycle maker is working on is scarce at the moment, the firm confirms that its hybrid motorcycle would be able to switch quickly from petrol to electric seamlessly and this would indeed be handy for "short to middle distance commuters".
The company has also launched a short video demonstrating the use while the bike runs on a dyno and switches from electric to petrol followed by a combination of both. The idea behind the development of this technology is that as per Kawasaki, riders could use petrol power on the outskirts of a city, then continue into the centre on electric power only, thus saving energy and fuel during the overall transportation.
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The company is also experimenting with motorcycle AI. This concept uses an in-helmet voice interface system that allows the rider to raise queries to the bike such as ‘how much fuel range do I have?’, ‘what’s the weather at my destination?’ or ‘how’s the traffic on route?’. This concept is currently undergoing testing with a group of riders in Japan.