Yamaha Reveals Exhibits for Tokyo Motor Show
By Zlatan Stankovic on October 23, 2017
As we edge closer to the Tokyo Motor Show, there has been speculation surrounding Yamaha for some time. As the event got closer, we were just starting to wonder whether they were just going to surprise everyone with their exhibits when the news eventually came through. Above all else, it seems as though the Motoroid prototype, an artificial intelligence application for motorcycles, shines the brightest but we’re also interested in the ‘Motobot’, which is fully autonomous. For those who aren't interested in this type of technology, there’s also an electric quadricycle showing in Tokyo too!
Ever since the first event in 1954, in Hibiya Park, the Tokyo Motor Show has gone from strength to strength. With over 60 years of events under their belt, it’s now the best opportunity for Japanese manufacturers to show what they’re working on as we head into the so-called ‘future’. Often, the event shows off where the industry is heading for cars, motorcycles, and many other vehicles. In 2017, it’s the 45th edition of the event and history tells us many prototypes have had their debuts at the show.
If you’ve been following the news of the event, you’ll know Honda has already revealed their plans to display the self-riding motorcycle in Tokyo. Now, Yamaha has finally released their own plans for the show and the Motoroid seems to be where most of their attention is going.
The MotoroidEssentially, the idea forms around combining motorcycles with artificial intelligence. Since they’re turning up with a prototype, we’re hopeful their display will be a hands-on experience. If Yamaha have learned anything from Kawasaki, they will at least bring something for fans to touch and experiment with. With their Rideology concept, Kawasaki got the whole market excited last time around but the video-only display wasn't quite what the fans wanted.
As of right now, we don’t know too much about the Motoroid prototype but we do know it can interact with us while also recognizing the owner of the vehicle. Of course, this is a very loose description and opens the door for speculation but we can get an idea for the type of technology the prototype will offer after the road safety initiative from Honda, Yamaha, and BMW. For now, up until October 27th when the Tokyo Motor Show begins, we can only speculate and hope the system is as great as it sounds.
Yamaha and Intelligent TechnologyIn recent years, we’ve been paying close attention to Yamaha and this isn't the first time they’ve toyed with the idea of intelligent vehicles. Two years ago, at the last Tokyo Motor Show, the Motobot was the main attraction and led the booth for the motorcycle maker. Now known as the R1 Superbike, this autonomous model can go around a race track with no human interaction and 2017 will see Yamaha update the world with its progress.
In 2017, Yamaha originally set the goal of reaching 200km/h (around 125mph) and company representatives say they’ve already done this so progress seems to be happening at the Japanese bike manufacturer. Next up, they want the model to compete with the likes of Valentino Rossi on a race track and this target has an end date of 2020. Considering we’re quickly approaching 2018, this isn't too far away.
Just recently, Yamaha held a poll on their website and pitted Valentino Rossi up against the Motobot. Interestingly, the autonomous machine received a staggering amount of support from the Middle East and South America. However, Rossi came out on top and most people thought he could never lose to an autonomous bike around a race track.
Multi-Wheel ConceptsAlong with their recent release of news, Yamaha also stated they would be showing a leaning multi-wheeler concept vehicle in the Japanese capital; the MWC-4. Over the years, the leaning multi-wheel idea has clearly been in the forefront of the minds at Yamaha as they’ve produced several concepts; this includes the OR2T, the Tesseract, and the MWT-9. In fact, the latter was actually shown at the previous Tokyo Motor Show. This being said, the Tricity three-wheeler is the only multi-wheeler to reach the production stage so something seems to be putting the manufacturer off right at the last minute. Are they proving inefficient? Are they coming across the same problems time and time again?
With the MWC-4, this will be powered electrically which is unique from the other concepts we’ve seen because they were all petrol engines. With this zero-emission option, we’re sure it wouldn't take long for the model to generate interest and not just because of the electric drive either. Instead, Yamaha has claimed the model will have attitude-control technology. When describing this feature, they said the ride feels like nothing else a conventional motorcycle has ever been able to offer. Although we aren't exactly sure what this means just yet, it’s certainly exciting and it makes us look forward to the Tokyo Motor Show even more.
Starting on October 27th and running right through to the following Sunday (5th), the Tokyo Motor Show is expecting thousands of visitors across the event in a tradition that dates right back to the 1950s where over 500,000 visitors showed over the course of a few days. For the Japanese car and bike manufacturers, this is their time to shine and, judging from Yamaha, it looks like they aren't going to waste it!