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Basem Wasef

Government Mandates Autonomous Motorcycles by 2018

By April 1, 2014

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Government Mandates Autonomous Motorcycles by 2018

If you enjoy maintaining full control of your motorcycle while riding down the road-- throttle, brakes, steering and all-- you might want to be sitting down for this piece of news: the Department of Transportation issued a joint statement today with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that a bill will be passed that requires all motorcycles to have "fully autonomous, self-piloting capabilities" as early as 2018.

"The goal is not to remove the freedom or adventure of riding a motorcycle," DOT spokesperson Melvin P. Meyers insisted, "but rather to create harmony on the roads between two and four-wheeled vehicles, and avoid the sorts of accidents that claim many lives every year."

Meyers outlined an easily retrofittable suite of electronics that mimic the technologies currently found in some automobiles. "By using a combination of GPS trackers, sonar and laser waves, lean angle sensors, and electronic throttle and gyroscopic turn instigators linked to a single decision-making ECU, we will be able to overcome the multi-level risks of riding and create crashproof motorcycles that promise to make two-wheeled transportation virtually 100 percent risk free."

DOT and NHTSA documents totalling 831 pages outline plans for the unprecedented enforcement of two-wheeled autopilot systems, and cite extensive government trials using rhesus monkeys on miniaturized motorcycles that have already proven the system is all but failsafe. Nonetheless, the government statements were rapidly met by opposition from the Motorcycle Industry Council, the American Motorcyclist Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP, and the Humane Society of the United States.

Meyers, a controversial figure who has stood behind movements ranging from a ban on potentially distracting chrome trim to the incorporation of mandatory gyroscopic stabilizers on all production motorcycles, could not be reached for a statement. However, it is possible that a grassroots movement led by passionate riders interested in preserving their right to take full control of their bikes might be able to kill this government mandate, and bring control back to where it belongs: in their right hand throttle grip.*


* Especially given today's date: April 1.

Photo Getty Images

April 1, 2014 at 5:53 am
(1) Pete says:

It’s actually not that uncommon right now to see a motorcycle now with little or no human control being imposed.

April 1, 2014 at 6:39 am
(2) Scottie says:

Good one Pete. Cars have been that way for years!

Happy April 1st.

It must be spring because bikes (& birds) are out in Manhattan.

April 1, 2014 at 8:40 am
(3) Pete says:

I took the snows off the car yesterday! I even washed it…forgotten what color it was. A couple good days of rain to wash away the last of the salt, and it’s time to go for a ride!
That was an ugly winter!
And there’s still lots of flakes around…

April 1, 2014 at 10:20 am
(4) Mary Slepicka says:

Excellent! Happy April 1st!

April 1, 2014 at 10:23 am
(5) Jim says:

April Fools

April 1, 2014 at 1:02 pm
(6) Joe says:

Good one!!!

April 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm
(7) Nodak says:

All you fqckin idiots need to be drowned. I’m old school biker and so are thousands of my brothers. We will never ride a government robot bike. It’s the blind Dumb ass cages that are the prob. More crashes caused.by them with bikes than all wrecks put together. Good luck with your waste of more money in these communist lead times of American crisis. RIDE HARD RIDE FREE!

April 2, 2014 at 3:11 pm
(8) Pete says:

Basem…You have to keep Nodak in mind for next April 1st.
Maybe a max speed governor or something like that…?

April 2, 2014 at 7:02 pm
(9) Gary says:

I was about to send this to my riding buddies when I saw the reference to April Fool’s Day. You got me! I guess I’m a fool (at least for today).

April 2, 2014 at 9:08 pm
(10) FrankG says:

amazing how some are against anything even when it’s not even true…

April 2, 2014 at 10:21 pm
(11) Radman (Mn) says:

Great one!! You’re killing me….with laughter!
(Nodak..Take a deep breath)

April 3, 2014 at 3:41 am
(12) Basem Wasef - About.com Motorcycles Expert says:


I always keep the Nodak types in mind– kinda makes me wish April Fools happened more often. :)

April 3, 2014 at 5:56 am
(13) Marga says:

Gee – your bike doesn’t have this yet? I thought it was standard on all models this century!

April 3, 2014 at 3:35 pm
(14) scott says:

Basem, you make a great straight man. Loved the article. By the way, the only way to make motorcycles risk free, is not to ride them. then, of course one would have to deal with all the other risks so plentiful in life. Ride safe and get home. Scott

April 3, 2014 at 9:04 pm
(15) Rudolph.A.Furtado says:

Its totally impossible to run a “MOTORCYCLE” on autopilot simply because its a 2-wheeler vehicle and not a 4-wheeler like a car.That what makes motocycling the best automated adrenaline vehicle akin to horse-riding.

April 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm
(16) Pete says:

One horsepower! How boring is that??

April 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm
(17) WAYNE says:

How about an autonomous government so we don’t have to put up with the stupidity that comes out of the humans trying to run the show!

April 4, 2014 at 2:43 pm
(18) Pete says:

Wayne…you sure you mean autonomous?
“autonomous” means ‘subject only to it’s own laws’…I think that might be where we are now!

April 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm
(19) grizzler says:

April Fool jest it may have been, but this IS the sort of legislative CRAP that DOES get issued by those anti-2 -wheeled characters running the countries.

Mind you, with the abysmal state of most roads these days, its probably a good idea!

Maybe the better idea would be that we all drive 4-wheel drive mini tractors instead?!

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