Motorcycles have always been cool vehicles for rebels and outsiders. So they tend to crop up in science fiction quite a bit. Whether it’s Kaneda leading a bike gang in Akira, Kevin Flynn on a light cycle in Tron or the Terminator using a Harley-Davidson Fat Boy. Or the tech of Hiro Protagonist’s bike in Neal Stephenson’s classic novel Snow Crash, which is what the new Arc Vector most reminds me of.
It’s a new electric motorcycle due to be unveiled at a big industry show in Italy in November, 2018. Moving away from petrol isn’t unusual now, as cars and motorcycles both strive to be more environmentally friendly. But it’s the other technology included in the Arc Vector that inspires the science fiction comparisons.
Various firms have worked on linking up riders and technology for safety and performance. That includes the big bike manufacturers and smaller start-ups. But Arc claim to have developed the first motorcycle with an integrated multi-sensory Human Machine Interface (HMI).
What that means is a motorcycle helmet with a heads-up display. And a tactile riding suit which presumably uses haptic technology. The team behind Arc are led by the former head of Jaguar Land Rover’s skunkworks department, along with a MotoGP chief racing engineer and computer modelling experts.
So it’s a British electric motorcycle from a firm based in Coventry. And funded by companies including InMotion Ventures, which is the Jaguar Land Rover investment fund. It looks pretty cool, has a HUD helmet and a tactile riding suit. And with electric power it’ll be quiet and have masses of torque for pulling away quickly from the lights.
There’s no word on how much the Arc Vector might cost when it becomes available to the public. But looking at it, and reading the limited information on the Human Machine Interface, it seems like all it needs is a light trail out the back for all our sci-fi motorcycle dreams to become reality. You can read more about the details of the Arc Vector electric motorcycle at Rescog.com, and if that doesn’t take your fancy, how about either a Yamaha controlled by artificial intelligence, or by a motorcycle-riding robot?
Also published on Medium.