Kawasaki is working on AI for talking motorcycles

Think Knight Rider, but on a bike and without Hasselhoff.

Automotive manufacturers and tech companies are in a race to put self-driving cars on the road, which includes autonomous taxis capable of ferrying riders from point A to B. With the majority of tech companies ignoring motorcycles in favor of cars, Kawasaki is planning to go unchallenged, head-first into the world of high-tech features with an artificial intelligence system that will talk to riders.

The program, which is still in the early stages of development, is called the Kanjo Engine – "Emotion Engine." The system aims to be able to understand and react to a motorcyclists' speech and will learn a rider's skill level, individual riding style, and motorcycle experience. The AI system will also offer riders with suggestions for a safer, more enjoyable ride.

So far, Kawasaki's AI system sounds like a fancy form of Siri that gives riders pertinent information. While that would help riders to become better motorcyclists, the most impressive part of Kawasaki's AI system centers around its ability to alter the motorcycle's settings to the specific rider's profile. Kawasaki didn't specify the AI system's full capabilities or what type of settings it would be able to adjust, but we expect suspension components, braking performance, and power delivery would be on the list of adjustable items.

Having an AI system on its motorcycles would give Kawasaki a huge advantage over its competitors and, if found to make riding safer, would bring in more riders to the wonderful world of motorcycling. It's not a crime-fighter like Knight Rider's KITT, but it seems like a positive start for motorcycle AI systems.

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