BMW's new Tron-style motorcycle will never fall over

Self-balancing, zero-emissions

BMW is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and part of the festivities involves a series of futuristic prototypes of what the next 100 years could hold for the German automaker.

The latest to be released, at an event in Los Angeles, is a motorbike that looks straight out of Tron. It's called the Mororrad Vision Next 100, and BMW says that it's so safe that you'll be able to ride it without a helmet.

Stand upright

How? Well, it has self-balancing wheels - like the ones in a Segway - which stop it from ever falling over. Even at a complete stop, the bike will stand upright.

"Its self-balancing system will help protect the rider at any time," said Edgar Heinrich, the design director of BMW's motorcycle division. 

"Any late reaction from the driver will trigger and the vehicle will balance out."

What's more, it's electrically-powered, which means zero emissions (as long as your electricity comes from a zero-emissions source), and the power unit folds up like an accordion when the bike is parked.

Augmented reality

BMW has envisioned a bionic riding suit and visor to accompany the bike, with the visor beaming augmented-reality lines and bank angles onto the road ahead, controlled by gaze-tracking.

Want to see it for yourself? The bike is on display to the public at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Airport. But be quick, it's only there until October 16. If you don't make it in time, here's a YouTube video to enjoy instead:

Duncan Geere is TechRadar's science writer. Every day he finds the most interesting science news and explains why you should care. You can read more of his stories here, and you can find him on Twitter under the handle @duncangeere.