The next generation Kawasaki 1400 GTR motorcycle looks and sounds like it just rode off the set of the latest science fiction film or hit television show (Nightrider quickly springs to mind). But this futuristic bike is no cinematic fantasy. It's the real thing.
Infra red sensors are already available in some of the top line BMW car models, but this is the first time we've heard of infra-red cameras being mounted to a motorcycle. And it's not just a prototype collecting dust in a fancy showroom somewhere in Japan. Kawasaki's collision avoidance technology is here now, the patents are filed and this new look 1400 GTR may be gearing up for production as early as 2010.
According to Gizmag, the 1400 GTR already takes its place among the world's most advanced motorcycles, with a number of tech standards inlcuding keyless entry and tyre pressure sensors.
However, Kawasaki researchers have gone one better in the high tech stakes by giving motorcycle drivers the sci-fi luxury of infra-red night vision.
|Terminator vision: could future riders expect similar things? *Image source: datacore.scififlicks*
Better still, drivers will be able to interact with the road via an interactive helmet display, designed to warn them of any heat sensitive obstacles that may cross their path.
Using far infrared images (in comparison to the usual short wave infrared cameras mounted in some top car models), the Kawasaki 1400 GTR will give motorcycle riders a lengthy 300m of infra-red vision; enough space to allow speedy bikers the right amount of time to identify sudden pedestrians or animal movements on their route on night roads.
Using Bluetooth and short wave radio sensors, information sent from the vehicles cameras could be sent to the riders helmet display for constant monitoring.
It's also expected that such other areas of information could be added to the motorcycle helmet display including various system diagnostics, GPS directions and the actual infra-red heat images relayed from the bikes cameras.These images could either be read in the peripheral vision of the helmet visor or across the visor itself, in what might look a little like the display from a terminator T800 model.
The future of motorcycle riding might be just around the corner.
|The Kawasaki 1400 GTR offers infra red technologies in their next model.