MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Self-Driving Cars May Not Always See Motorcycles – Another Thing to Worry About?

As illustrated in the video below, self-driving cars may not always detect motorcycles splitting lanes in California. The video below features a Tesla, and each self-driving automobile manufacturer likely has its own, differing technology (even Tesla, apparently, has already announced an improvement in its self-driving related technologies).

Of course, human beings are far from perfect when it comes to detecting lane-splitting motorcycles approaching from behind, but it is interesting to note that this can still be an issue despite all the technology incorporated in cars capable of driving themselves.


See more of MD’s great photography: Instagram

67 Comments

  1. Chas says:

    AV are the future whether anyone wants it or not. I have found that AV cars are driven better than at least 50% of the drivers out there on our roads.

    That noted; at least one MC rider was lane splitting well over the 30 mph limit for safety. So AMC could help those riders who ride as bad as most cagers drive.

    • A P says:

      “Well over” the 30 mph limit… the “anyone who goes faster than me is an idiot” meme rears its head. Even without splitting lanes, it is basic advice to get out of the danger/blind spots and past the vehicles which can cause you problems quickly.

      The point here is that motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians need to be proactively protected from AVs that will invariably not do what the AI experts WANT, but what they are inadvertently programmed to do. There is only so much physical separation possible to isolate AVs and their limited ability to competently interact with all road users. Framing the argument to where AVs rule a “smart” road system is about as realistic as all those flying cars and personal jetpacks promised by the tech industry a half-century ago.

      Given Google Maps is often a major database for AVs, the linked article should give AV-fans pause. The AI software was intended to convert map data in very specific ways, and instead figured out how to encode data in maps in a way that ended up producing totally faulty maps. OOPS!
      https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/31/this-clever-ai-hid-data-from-its-creators-to-cheat-at-its-appointed-task/

      Not a stretch to predict more, less detectable, “errors” in increasingly complex AV/AI systems which will (and already have) lead to placing humans in harm’s way on the road.

      AV/AI and “driver assist” tech is nowhere near ready for mass road distribution, despite the “necessity” of corporate profits to help keep the latest tech bubble inflated. The North American auto market sees a massive future demographic drop in incoming drivers as the Uber generation, a high % still living at home, often don’t have driver’s licenses and won’t ever own cars. Apple just took a massive valuation/profits hit based on nothing more than the forecast that iPhone sales in China will drop due to Trump’s trade war. Imagine the economic ripple effect if AVs and even the current wave of “driver assists” were held back until the obvious flaws and glitches were nearly 100% eliminated.

      The safetycrats, insurance lobbyists and politicos have all swallowed the Tesla/Uber AV propaganda and Vision Zero koolade. Like Roundup and antibiotics, will future generations be left to deal with the folly of such claims? But no worries, AV/AI corporate “profits” will be taken and the average citizen will be left holding the tax bill and bankster debt which will “pay” for the infrastructure.

  2. Provologna says:

    I lived in CA for years and almost constantly commuted during rush hour (it’s almost always rush hour there now). One day I ride through a UT city on my MTN bike, heading W on Center St toward Main, w/vehicle traffic backed up almost one full block. Another bicyclist is stopped behind the last vehicle in the traffic line, his bike turned slightly to the R. I ride very slowly approaching his rear, I might have even stopped, thinking “why does he not ride his bike up to the next intersection?” I attempt to pass him to ride up to the next intersection, and he intentionally walks his bike directly on my intended line, blocking my path of travel, making me stop, telling me that lane sharing is prohibited.

    Regardless whether or not my action/intent was a potential infraction, he affirmatively admitted and confirmed he committed the infinitely more serious penal code misdemeanor crime of blocking someone’s free movement (up to X time in prison and $X fine).

  3. Mike says:

    I’m always leery seeing an approaching car when I’m riding the twisty backroads, especially with no centerstripe . But usually you can make eye contact when they get close enough.
    Now…Imagine how it will feel knowing that the approaching car is driven by a computer with its human fast asleep? Let’s hope they got the software right.

  4. Party Stuey says:

    So, if you’re not supposed to use cruise control in slick driving conditions, I assume that you are not supposed to use AV either. What about when the sensors get covered in road grim, when there aren’t any lane marking, or the markings are obscured? I really don’t see what AVs are going to bring to the table and I really don’t think they are going to be viable. How about we start with more trains or bus rapid transit.

  5. Hot Dog says:

    It’s ok for you folks who want pilotless vehicles and even lane splitting, if that’s your thing, but it just isn’t for me. I tend to only trust myself, not a Cyborg behind the wheel, nor stuck in traffic whilst trusting frustrated commuters not to smash into me. Lane splitting scares the heck out of me. My bike, with large panniers attached, is as wide as laying 2 axe handles end to end (old girlfriend speak), so I don’t think I’d fit. I had a mirror ripped off, on the right side of my Wing, by a driver passing on the shoulder and I just can’t get that out of my mind.

    Now I want to state that it’s ok you lane split and hand the keys to The Borg. Least you think that some of us guys who don’t do it, well we do, sorta. A antonymous vehicle here is when BillyBob leaves the saloon too full, nods off as his truck motors down the road for another half mile, before he takes her into the ditch. Lane splitting here is riding on the center line (if the paint isn’t fresh)for any number of reasons, whether it be deer standing on both shoulders or a cattle drive coating the driving surface with recycled vegetable material.

    We are different – sorta, yet the same – sorta.

  6. Mick says:

    I’m eager to buy an AV. A truck and a van to be precise. They would be great for point to point bicycle rides for instance. The wife and I did a lot of travel around Europe in a van with a motorcycle, a couple of fat bikes, golf clubs, yada yada in a one of the cool mid sized vans that are so common there, and impossible to get in the US. The software running AVs is going to improve. Think video games. Right now we are at Pong. This will improve a great deal.

    An AV would have been awesome. You could choose to ride bicycle from one town to the next and have all the rest of your kit waiting for you when you arrive. Just send the van out ahead. When you get there you have a nice secure box to put your stuff in.

    People who are anti-lane-splitting are anti-freedom IMO. The idea that it is illegal in most of the so called land of the free is turbo ridiculous. The whole rest of the world enjoys this simple freedom for good reason. It reduces congestion and allows for quicker travel for people who ride vehicles that use less space and resources. Getting around a craphole like Paris, France on a motorcycle without lane-splitting would be suicide. If only for the reason that you would be so bored and frustrated that you would want to kill yourself.

    I was in a hurry once and took a motorcycle taxi across town from a metro stop. The fricken taxi rider was a lane-splitting virtuoso. I got across town in a fraction of the time and had the only pillion ride that I ever actually enjoyed.

    • Bob K says:

      Dang! I didn’t even consider that purpose.
      .
      I love to MTB and raft and kayak and you always need one person in the group to drive to the start or endpoint and miss out on the fun if there’s no ride back. Unless you bring multiple vehicles. Then it’s doable but it takes time out of the day for everyone.
      .
      If it’s raft or kayaks, we have a trailer though. I don’t believe that the AVs are programmed to be aware of a trailer you’re pulling around, both in its physical size and weight. Even more so if you have multiple kinds of trailers.
      .
      But hey, what a great idea. Especially if the AV could be added into a 23 window VW bus. I’d be in hippie heaven!

  7. Rapier says:

    The robot car is the answer to the question nobody asked. People don’t want it, beyond the novelty factor. Corporations want them for commercial purposes and mostly not far passenger cars because the small personal sized vehicle are not appropriate for commercial purposes.

    For every fanboy who wants one there are going to be 100 people who will hate them. Not dislike, hate. The unoccupied robot car is going to be,,,,, well, use your imagination.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The question nobody asked? Hmmm. I’m pretty sure this had been a question since I was a kid. Which circles do you run in? Most people I know who aren’t motorcyclists are pretty excited about the prospect of a robot car.

    • Dave says:

      Maybe the question you didn’t think to ask, but it’s the answer to dozens of questions the rest of us have been asking. Once this takes hold, we won’t be asked whether or not we wanted it, because that will frankly be irrelevant.

  8. Vasco Santos says:

    Does the Tesla “autopilot” change lanes by itself? because that’s the real danger of the car not detecting the motorcycle.
    If the car “autopilot” just keeps it in the lane thats not too bad and probably will do a better job at it than a lot of drivers that swerve all over the plane on their lane. If that’s the case, the system is not a real autopilot, more like a driving aid like cruise control and there’s no problem with that.

    The real problem of autonomous cars is if or when the software has the power to take action, either changing lanes to try to follow a GPS course in heavy traffic, making an emergency braking because the sensors saw something, failing to determine the lane center because of a poorly paved/painted road, you name it.

  9. Bart says:

    Just needs a revision of Google map app (add Cali moto button) to tell the T-cars we’re coming through! G already knows where I am, how fast I’m going, and the surround environment.

    Fight software back with more software, that’s the way it is, no going back, bikes don’t have reverse anyways (unless you split lanes on a Wing!)

  10. Mike says:

    Drinking and driving.
    I follow quire a bit of the development of autonomous cars online (I’m against them FWIW).
    But….There are waaay too many people, according to the comments sections, who can’t wait for autonomous cars so that they can drive while inebriated. And they are serious.

    So, good luck out there.

    • A P says:

      While policy makers, lobbyists, drinkers or otherwise incompetent/incapacitated people may see autonomous vehicles (AV’s) as a panacea as promised in the Vision Zero (VZ) project, anyone who enjoys independent riding/driving should see their pastime as under major threat.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vision_Zero
      In case you’ve never heard of Vision Zero, every anti-motorcycle safetycrat and insurance lobbyist in the world has. And it is being widely implemented in nearly stealth mode, as who can argue against zero road deaths/injuries.
      Real Mom and apple pie BS.

      AV’s fit well into the VZ playbook, as VZ and AV’s are both supposed to eliminate human error from the road environment. My answer to that bit of safetycrat/Musk-think is what my college computer instructor said: “Computers too often allow you to make mistakes at nearly the speed of light, instead of at the speed of the human intelligence”. Given gov’ts are allowing AV’s and electronic “driving assists” out on the roads with minimal testing shows exactly how much legislators and lobbyists give a damn about actual pedestrian/bicyclist/motorcyclist safety. The politicos and their ilk only care when the headlines turn against them, and that NEVER happens to motorcyclists’ benefit. “Everyone knows” in the general public that motorcycles are dangerous and anyone who rides one has a death-wish.

      It is doubtful increasingly prevalent 30-40kph city speed limits and stop lights/signs at every intersection is a passing fad. And when they are done “pacifying” city streets, rural roads (y’know, where all the twisties are) will be next.

      Pedestrians and bicycles are already being herded in to “safe” parts of the road system so AV’s have fewer “unexpected” data to deal with, like nasty jaywalkers or arrogant bicyclists who actually think they deserve some part of the road.

      But what to do about motorcycles? Too small for AV’s to “see”, too quick in acceleration/direction-change and faster braking ability.

      If you think the gov’t or motorcycle industry is dealing with this stuff to your benefit, maybe not. “Advanced technology will also affect motorcycle rider training programs, and the panel talked about the need to train riders on how to interact with connected and automated vehicles. ”
      https://mic.org/#/newsArticle

      So it appears motorcyclists will be tasked with figuring out what vehicles are AV’s so we can avoid them… not AV’s being proven good enough at driving to avoid us. The best we can hope for is radio beacons on our bikes (and bodies while walking?) that tell the blind/stupid AV’s where motorcycles are and are heading. But then we will be having our movements 100% tracked, so don’t be 1kph over the limit or it was all your fault.

      The insurance lobby is already doing its best to provide the major cost disincentive to both existing and new riders. I find it interesting that the FIM/AMA/MIC crowd has accepted/generated the endless spiral of tougher gov’t mandated training/licensing regimes when the existing system has been in place in most developed countries for nearly a half-century without proof it actually reduces the relevant stats. The Hurt/MAIDS Reports clearly indicate it is drivers that need the tougher training/penalties, not motorcyclists.

      Unfortunately AV’s merely replace a driver who MIGHT not see you with computer/sensors that probably WON’T see you. But no fear, new riders will be trained to see unmarked AV’s and avoid them.

      • Anonymous says:

        Sounds pretty hopeless. Have you considered suicide?

        • Motoman says:

          You should have left the last sentence out. Not even close to funny.

        • A P says:

          Well “Anonymous”, I am reasonably well adjusted to (even if annoyed with) the changes happening that I describe. Fortunately the rural “pacification” has not begun in earnest where I live, but it has begun. I am confident most of this corporate idiocy will come to full fruition after I have shuffled off this mortal coil.

          But for the kiddies starting out riding and those experienced riders just arriving to middle age, AV’s and the VZ/safetycrat/insurance lobby agenda will quietly introduce increasingly onerous restrictions on motorcycles.

          I am old enough to remember when motorcycles were inexpensive transportation, and a lot of fun added into the equation. Back then we never imagined “leisure use” bike insurance would cost as much as for your daily commuter car. AV’s were the stuff of science fiction, right up there with flying cars and personal jet packs. Still should be, but I don’t make the rules. Boeing and Uber (and others) are seriously talking to the FAA about autonomous flying passenger and freight vehicles. As if AV’s that can’t navigate a freeway where the traffic is all going one direction and a relatively small speed differential is at play aren’t bad enough.

          Automation works best in narrow, tightly controlled scenarios where the potential for extraneous inputs don’t cause “unforeseeable” catastrophic failures. Given that Teslas and other AV’s have routinely smashed into large stationary objects, let alone small mobile ones, the only way they should be out on the road EVER is with clearly identifiable markings/lights to let anyone not in an AV know they are there.

          Maybe paint them all with bilious fluorescent yellow/orange zebra stripes with a flashing light on top. Hopefully paying a premium for something that looks like a clown car may discourage the current AV virtue-signalling image.

          • Dave says:

            “Given that Teslas and other AV’s have routinely smashed into large stationary objects,”

            This has literally happened 4 times and in all 4 cases, the human in the car wasn’t paying attention.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “Given that Teslas and other AV’s have routinely smashed into large stationary objects,”

            Right. Humans NEVER do this.

          • A P says:

            To Dave and Jeremy: Considering the microscopic percent of the total North American vehicle pool that AV’s currently are, 4 fatal incidents is not a minor consideration. At such low percent, even one AV fatality is statistically far too many. The Trolley Problem automated.

            The argument that “the human wasn’t paying attention” kinda flies in the face of human nature. OF COURSE “drivers” will be less attentive when the “assists” are in operation… otherwise WHY HAVE THE ASSISTS? And that doesn’t cover the latest AV’s being tested with no driver controls. The whole UBER objective is to eliminate the driver so these things will be driving around empty for about 1/2 their time on the road.

            It will be interesting to see how many “assisted driving” vehicle (like Nissan is now selling) collisions/fatalities there are in the near future, and how the courts interpret whether the driver or the automated systems were “at fault”. The idea that the driver can react quickly enough to counteract a speed-of-light bad decision by the automated systems is a huge leap. I don’t even use cruise control much, having been caught out too often by other drivers deciding that I didn’t need that extra car-length or so buffer I prefer on cruise. Ever try to maintain that safetycrat-suggested “two second rule” on the highway, let alone in city traffic?

            But no fear, AV’s will handle all potential hazards, and only people/drivers who don’t respect the AV’s right to rule the road will die or be injured.

            You may want to review Assimov’s Three Laws of Robotics.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

            Current AV tech doesn’t come close to complying with these laws, which means AV’s should be viewed as antithetical to the Vision Zero project. So perhaps the AV/VZ convenient interplay is less about actually reducing road injuries/fatalities and more about making way for zero independently-driven vehicles. And of course the corporate profits to be made.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The Three Laws are a work of fiction, though I don’t deny their relevance in modern AI culture.

            But to the point, they are still fiction. There isn’t a single robot or AI produced that can “understand” these laws. The robots we have today have more in common with a chainsaw than the AI for which the three laws are intended. They are tools – most of which require our input or supervision to be effective. Some are even designed to kill people with complete disregard for the three laws apparently.

            AVs are tools. Like chainsaws, they can be used improperly. Like computers, they won’t always work perfectly. But they’ll work better than we will in certain applications. We disagree on the apparent reasons for the few AV collisions out there. I say they are human error, you say not. Let’s leave it at that.

          • A P says:

            Nice try Jeremy. While Asimov’s Laws are “fiction”, you forget he was also a world-class physicist, so therefore a logical, and quite prescient, mind.

            The Trolley Problem is well established as having real world consequences, and even humans cannot unravel the practical implications of that philosophical “fiction”. So how will practical solutions to the Trolley Problem and the robotic Laws be programmed into AV’s when there is no standard solution to be applied? AV’s will be just fine when there are only low-speed AV’s on the road with pedestrians and bicyclists safely corralled in bike lanes and sidewalks/crosswalks.

            I suggest readers research Risk Compensation and how it relates to driver behaviour and automotive technology. In short, the more “safety” features which are introduced into auto tech (i.e. seat belts, anti-lock brakes, traction control…) the safer drivers believe they are, and therefore they take more situational risks based on that often unfounded belief.

            Airplane auto-pilots are probably the longest running test of autonomous technology we have, and yet even Boeing has issues making autopilots and other control systems 100% infallible (which driverless AVs will need to be). All it took was a simple technical error in the airspeed sensor systems on the latest version 737s to cause the Lionair crash that killed nearly 200 people. Learn about pitot tube airspeed sensors to find out how rudimentary this tech is, and yet Boeing (in design) and the maintenance crews missed the obvious twice.
            https://www.britannica.com/technology/pitot-tube

            Now compare how simple a pitot tube is to the mass of complex sensors required to run an AV… At the current state of development and road infrastructure, AVs are more dangerous than humans. The stats show it.

            Maybe one day, but this tech is not ready for the world as we know it. Any international travel will show you that North American roads are by far the most regimented and restricted in the world. In Paris, all the two-wheeled vehicles filter to the front of the line at stop lights, and in Italy grandmothers on scooters split lanes on narrow two lane roads… AV’s won’t do well with that stuff, let alone the traffic in places like Indonesia or India.

            So AV’s are “solving” a first-world problem. A problem created by allowing drivers who don’t take driving seriously out on the roads. And putting them in cars which have so many built-in distractions it’s a wonder there isn’t piles of smoking wreckage at every intersection.

            Let’s “leave it” that you really haven’t researched enough to make an informed opinion on AV’s in particular, road safety statistics and human risk compensation in general. You are forming an opinion on press clippings and the media promising that AV’s and the VZ agenda will fix the “carnage” on the roads. In fact, North American road deaths have been on a downward trend since the 1930’s, and most interestingly, the exact same trend is seen where MODERN cars were introduced into lower-tech cultures.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

            The ACTUAL increasing risk over the last few decades has been to pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists… so let’s allow (encourage?) tech that can’t see large objects reliably, let alone human-size objects.

      • Mike says:

        Well, all that Vision Zero stuff goes out the window the first time you’re running late for work or have to fire off a text.

        Truth be told I’ve never heard about it til now so I clicked the link and low and behold, my very city of Boston started it in 2015. No wonder all of a sudden the isolated bike paths have been put on the roads. But that works for me as I ride a bicycle as well.

        • A P says:

          @ Mike: Sportbikes are the canaries in the coalmine, the thin edge of the wedge.

          Vision Zero is seldom overtly presented to the tax-paying, driving public during election cycles or any other gov’t PR/media releases. But surprise, surprise, it is firmly ensconced into policy leading to expensive infrastructure changes. But if any dare protest the VZ agenda and now the AV lobby working overtime as well, you are treated like a potential axe-murderer by the “WON’T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CHILDREN” crowd.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RybNI0KB1bg

          Why the FIM/AMA/MIC/manufacturers/et.al. are not fighting this combined, ultimately anti-motorcycle, lobby tooth and nail is beyond me. But instead we in North America get a muted pro-motorcycle response, while being subjected to tougher training/licensing, astronomical insurance and bearing the brunt of deliberately instigated negative media coverage. The biggest recent legal wins the AMA can claim is stopping random motorcycle-only checkpoints and prying off the anti-lead content laws from preventing the sale of mini-bikes for children.

          So prepping the road system for AV’s is what all those bicycle-lanes, flashing-light crosswalks and ridiculously low speed limits are really about. Sportbikes just happen to be the low-hanging fruit, but the rest of motorcycling is being challenged.

          And if you still think this agenda is somehow not targeting motorcycling, here’s proof of a coordinated effort to discourage older riders. The links I give are just a sample, a few minutes searching will turn up at least a dozen major news outlets pushing this crap.

          Did you know that “older motorcyclists are 3x more likely to be injured in a crash than younger riders”? The “study” that was the foundation of this media blast (at least 5 different variations by 5 different non-motorcycle writers, all released within days to major mainstream media) was never actually PUBLISHED, it was only listed on the British Journal of Medicine pre-publish website. And the author was a masters student. I asked the student what group paid for the study and she stopped answering my emails… odd.
          https://www.cbsnews.com/news/older-motorcycle-drivers-three-times-more-likely-to-be-seriously-injured-in-crash/
          https://www.bbc.com/news/health-21350883

          Well DUH! Older people are more likely to be injured than younger people PERIOD.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3502611/
          Or not even on a motorcycle, or in traffic.
          https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/3020/for-elderly-even-short-falls-can-be-deadly.aspx

      • todd says:

        Interesting. Since emergency vehicle accidents are a non-zero sum, this would suggest that police, fire, and rescue vehicles should also be limited to the same speed restrictions as any other vehicle. It would go against their argument of ‘Life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society’. In other words, you can not risk the lives of pedestrians by racing to the scene of a fire or by chasing a suspect or getting a pregnant woman to a hospital.

  11. Provologna says:

    Great video. The binaural audio track is amazing played back on good in-ear buds or “cans” (head phones). The audio track correctly monitored (speakers are fail) reproduces an object’s location in 3-dimensional space with uncanny realism.

    Till about 2 years ago good binaural recording required considerable expense and real estate, such as two small mic capsules located in the “ears” of a special foam dummy head, or mics spaced similar to a human head on a stand. The sound is captured the same as human ears capture it, but must be played on buds or head phones. Normal speakers “print” the playback environment over the original recording’s atmospheric effects.

    A couple years ago Sennheiser released superb “around the ear mics” (circa $250 SRP) which plug directly into a phone, which I’m sure was the source for this recording. The wearer simply wraps one mic around each ear.

    There are many YT binaural recordings with shockingly realistic spatial effects, both musical and non-musical soundscapes such as walking through a crowded city.

    As advanced as Tesla appears to be, I’d not be surprised if Musk eventually employs some version of binaural mics to increase processing sensitivity to many items, including lane splitting motorcycles.

  12. ben says:

    Silicon Valley commuter here. Our diamond lanes are chock-full of Teslas of all models. Lane splitting is done on my daily commute as even the diamond lanes are at a crawl. Lots of diamond lane drivers move to the left a bit when a motorcycle comes through. I’ve noticed that Teslas generally (8 out of 10 times) do not. I assumed it was because the driver was using the self-driving mode and that mode puts the vehicle in the exact center of the lane. Unfortunately most Tesla’s are pretty wide vehicles. But Elon Musk is a pretty level-headed guy (snicker) and I’m sure if we ask nicely his team will come up with something!

  13. WillyL says:

    Considering the level of development they are at it does a pretty good job of detecting the bikes. Interesting video

    • Mike says:

      So Willy, you’re happy with “pretty good”?

      • Willyl says:

        Yea, if you read the whole sentence you would have noticed “ At this stage of the development “ You have to keep in mind this is a unique situation that the software developers probably hadn’t prioritized until someone points out the oversight. That is why they are gathering data and developing the system before saying “It’s good” FYI Tesla has almost two billion miles of software data so far. It will get better

  14. MGNorge says:

    Up here in WA State we do not have lane splitting either. Traffic likewise, unless commuting into Seattle or Tacoma, is not generally the long, long rows of cars hurrying and going nowhere. Still, I see some motorcyclists splitting lanes even when there’s no need. Flow is fine and no backups to be seen. This is what I think gives us bad PR. Guys (or gals) on bikes making asses of themselves. I try to be a better neighbor than that.

    • gpokluda says:

      I would agree. I see lane splitters here in New Mexico and have to ask why? Absolutely no need for it. In the wild west, it’s a good way to get your self shot!

    • Bryan says:

      I agree, I am in the Silicon Valley commute and have 6 bikes in the garage. It is embarrassing to see how some bikers “lane split”. There are two sections on my commute where the speed actually kicks up to 65 to 75 MPH. These fools still lane split between me and the car next to me at these speeds.

      Two guys do it on a regular basis. One is a Harley rider with ape hangers way over his shoulders. Looks absolutely ridiculous. The other is a cruiser but not a Harley. Lots of sport bikes as well but I don’t recognize a pattern for them.

      At 30 – 35 MPH or lower I can understand, I even do. At 75 MPH no frigging way.

  15. SharkGuitar says:

    Born and raised in Cali.
    Been lane splitting for over 40 years.
    I feel safer in between the cars than I do in the lane when traffic is making emergency stops. Can you say Motorcycle sandwich?
    Also when you analyze the data (Hurt Report) it shows that lane splitting is actually safer for the motorcyclist (when done legally of course) than staying in the lane with a car directly behind you and directly in front of you.

    The comments here attacking the practice are speaking without data to back up their comments and thus are just plain ignorant.
    Facts don’t care about your opinions.

  16. Michael says:

    Living in Tennessee, we don’t have lane splitting and probably never will, if it ever is legal, look at the morgues full of dead bikers cause folks around here will smash you with their diesel monster trucks. I think it’s dumb anyways so no loss.

  17. Dan says:

    The answer is to not lane split, why does anyone think this is acceptable to begin with. Makes car drivers hate motorcyclists.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Lane splitting is the norm worldwide. It’s silly that it isn’t considered acceptable here.

      • Anonymous says:

        Smoking cigarettes is also the norm worldwide. Doesn’t make it a good idea.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          No, smoking isn’t the norm, though the practice is more prevalent in other places around the world. And there is a huge fallacy in your logic if you think your analogy between smoking and lane splitting is even the least bit valid.

          • mickey says:

            No but he does have a point about acceptability of things around the world. Some things are widely accepted some places and others not so much.

            I would say in this country smoking is far more accepted by the general public than lane splitting even though there is no correlation between the two, while in Asia, both are widely accepted, again even thought there is no correlation.

          • Anonymous says:

            Lane splitting. Bwahahaha! I can just see it on the Baltimore or DC Beltways. Oh the carnage! Oh the humanity! People on those roads don’t drive, they careen!

  18. Todd says:

    Interesting to see so many anti lane splitting comments… and people literally throwing out insults! Motorcyclists judging other motorcyclists as reckless! This is comical to me. Do you realize that EVERY SINGLE person that does not ride a motorcycle thinks YOU are an idiotic, reckless maniac… just because you ride a motorcycle? Forget it if you talk about a track day or wheelie.

    I live and ride year round in San Diego and I never spend any time in the column of traffic. Sitting in a lane of traffic between 2 cars seems much more dangerous to me. There are way too many people not paying attention. Even motorcycle cops never sit in traffic. This only seems scary or crazy because you do not live or practice this behavior. NHTSA has studies that show lane splitting has no bearing on motorcycle accidents or injury statistics.

    I am old. I have had a motorcycle license for over 30years and I’ve ridden hundreds of thousands of miles. Still not dead.

    We are all human and want the same things in life. Judging others on an internet forum does nothing.

    • Chris says:

      I pretty much agree with Todd, but bottom line, everyone rides in a way that makes sense to them. Personally, my goal is to stay as far from cars, trucks, and other motorcycles (I trust no one) as possible. I constantly shift in my lane, left, right or center to accomplish this. I don’t have Todd’s level of experience, but doing this has kept me from bending any sheet metal for 15 years and over 50,000 miles. Riding between two other vehicles (unless perhaps if they were stationary) is not something I would do should Ohio allow lane splitting at some point.

  19. Dino says:

    What?? Technology isn’t perfect?? All the more reason for groups like the AMA to stay on top of the legislation that forms this kind of advancement..

    I do not see lane splitting here in the Midwest, but looking at the photo, I do see some riders that just ride that part of the lane right near the stripes. usually when riding side by side, but some do it from instinct I think.

    So this technology problem is not just about lane splitting, but just about the “vision” of these systems!

  20. Circ says:

    Lane splitting at anything above a walking pace is a fools game.

  21. Mike says:

    It’s amazing to me to see how much California lane splitting has changed since I lived (and rode) there in the early 80’s. Back then, the rule of thumb was to never lane split when traffic was moving at a normal pace. Just stay in your lane and go with the flow. Lane splitting was only used during traffic jams, when traffic was just creeping along a 10-20mph. It was only used to “filter” through traffic until the jam was passed and then back into your lane. The second rule was to be Ultra careful if traffic was completely stopped, as some jackass in a car could open a door to try and see what was going on. Sorry, but I think lane-splitting as the speeds these riders were going is completely nuts and unnecessary as well.

  22. Don E. says:

    About time, Visordown had this article posted over a week ago. Change your website from motorcycle daily to motorcycle weakly (pun intended).

    • GT08 says:

      Don E,
      We dont need you if you dont understand the way Motorcycledaily work.
      I’m with them since theyre begining.
      Sometime there not daily. That ok for me.
      Dirck need time to test bike he give us impression after.
      Plus this is Chrismas time be nice.
      That site is free from advertisement when you want to read or watch video.
      I know over 30 motorcycle site. Motorcycledaily is the one that fit me the best.
      With time i’m sure you will comeback to MD.

      • Mike says:

        I have actually bought two brand new bikes where Dirck’s review weighed very heavily on my decision to buy. They’re usually my tipping point, at least it was with my new z900.

  23. Grover says:

    I’ve done lane splitting since 1975 and have a great safety record. If you don’t ride like a complete idiot lane splitting can be done safely and make riding/commuting in California much more enjoyable. I recently moved out of CA and ride in a rural state/area where lane splitting is not required, but in CA it certainly is nice to have the option.

  24. mickey says:

    we of course don’t have lane splitting in Ohio. I have however ridden in Cali and chose not to lane split being as it is an unfamiliar practice for me. I understand lane splitting at the sub 20 mph traffic that the Tessla driver was in, but he was also getting passed several times while doing 58-60 mph. Apparently this is common?

    I thought the rule was no faster than 30 mph and no bigger difference in speed than 15 or 20 mph than surrounding traffic?

  25. P. Bliz says:

    If you’re stupid enough to lane split then accept the possible consequence of getting crushed.

    • Tom R says:

      Frustrated car commuter, are we?

    • Anonymous says:

      More like “brain-splitting”.

    • joe b says:

      Obviously, you dont split lanes, eh? Your argument is often used to explain why no one should ride motorcycles… get it?

      • Chris says:

        I don’t split because it’s illegal here in Ohio. My tactic when I ride is to stay as far from approaching or passing cars as possible, so I constantly shift left or right or to the center of my lane as I ride. This has kept me in saddle and from bending sheet metal for 15 years/over 50,000 miles (I only ride about 8 months a years due to Ohio’s weather), so if splitting was made legal here I doubt I would ride between cars unless they were stationary. I trust no one, not even other bikers.

        • HM says:

          I trust no one ! Years ago my brother and I discussed traffic pulling into our paths. He told me that he looked into their eyes and could tell. I replied that I always looked at their wheels as I could not read their minds. End result, I have never collided and he has several biggies on his bicycle. Nothing scientific but I think that I’ll continue my method?

          • Curtis says:

            You’re correct. The realities of visual perception (yes, with scientific basis) are such that others can “look right at you” and not perceive you. Watch other things.

    • VLJ says:

      “If you’re stupid enough to lane split then accept the possible consequence of getting crushed.”

      If you’re stupid enough to remain stuck between cars and risk getting rear-ended instead of simply lane-splitting into a clear space, then accept the possible consequence of getting crushed.

Add a Comment