BMW brings laser headlights and HUD helmet to motorcycles

BMW is complementing its array of cutting-edge tech at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show with the ConnectedRide concept that adapts automotive innovations to the motorcycle world. To highlight the two-wheeled future, the company modified a K1600 GTL with a laser headlight and controls for a helmet-integrated head-up display. The result could make riding safer if these developments ever come to market.

Some of BMW's latest models like the i8 and 7 Series can already cut through the darkness with laser headlights, and this K1600 GTL brings that technology to motorcycles. The bright light can shine down the road up to 1,969 feet, which the company claims is about twice as far as a conventional unit. The additional visual range gives riders extra time to evaluate what's ahead at night and could make for a safer journey. The concept laser headlight on the bike is only a feasibility test for now, but preliminary development is underway. However, the lights might need modification to see production in the US because BMW had to turn down the power on the units in the i8 to get FDA approval, according to BMW Blog.

BMW also wants to make riders safer through a helmet-integrated HUD that ensures they never need to take their eyes off the road. While other companies already offer similar products, this solution maximizes the available information. Through controls at a person's left hand on the handlebars, a user can select displays of current speed, selected gear, tire pressure, oil and fuel level, and even speed limits, and the system displays the desired info right in front of the wearer's eye. A front-mounted camera can record the trip, and a rear-mounted one can simulate a rearview mirror. Real-world production of the HUD is still a few years away, but BMW says future versions could incorporate vehicle-to-vehicle communications to let the system receive hazard warnings, too.


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