The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year hosted a handful of brands with robust motorcycle divisions, including Yamaha. Three concepts were presented that aren't really in the purview of a strictly motorcycle-focused publication, but they're interesting tells as far as Yamaha's vision of its place in the future of mobility. There was also the Niken three-wheeler, which you can learn more about in this First Look.

We’re going to focus on the other three here, however, because elements of each do speak to where Yamaha Motor may be headed in the next decade.

Yamaha on display
The latest unmanned helicopter from Yamaha on display at the brand’s booth at CES.Yamaha Motor Co.

The first centers around a Public Personal Mobility concept. This is an autonomous and low-speed conveyance with a 1-mile range that can be used to transport either passengers or cargo. Passengers aren't without recourse to correct course if need be, thanks to AI facial recognition which allows the riders to control the AI "conductor." Autonomously propelled vehicles are growing quite a bit in popularity, as far as research and development is concerned at least, and BMW is another of the manufacturers on hand this year showing their efforts in this regard. Take a look at the self-driving R1200GS to see what we mean.

Then there’s the Tritown concept, which was first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017 but comes packing a new design at CES 2019. This is a stand-up, leaning three-wheeled scooter that moves according the rider’s posture. Sort of like those hoverboards that were the craze a few years ago. Thankfully the Tritown appears to be much more stable than those, and will likely be really useful for folks in highly congested urban areas.

Public Personal Mobility concept
Riders testing the new Public Personal Mobility concept at CES, which can be controlled by passengers if needed thanks to facial recognition technology.Yamaha Motor Co.

And finally there’s a new generation of unmanned helicopter on display, another example of Yamaha’s focus on autonomously driven vehicles. Yamaha has been in the industrial-use, unmanned helicopter segment for 35 years, according to a company release, but the latest concept improves its performance in a variety of ways. Better aerial delivery, photography and surveillance, measurement and inspection. It can also carry 154 pounds, so will definitely be able to deliver that new Kitchen Aid mixer you ordered on Amazon, no problem.

But what does all this have to do with motorcycles? Well, Yamaha Motor’s global grand strategy through 2030 is to, essentially, expand “human possibilities.” This is the phrasing used in a late-December outline of the company’s mid-term and long-term plans. Part of the plan that will likely affect the motorcycles Yamaha produces directly are the three focus areas listed as part of efforts to transform mobility.

Yamaha Tritown
The Yamaha Tritown uses Leaning Multi-Wheel technology and moves based on the rider’s posture.Yamaha Motor Co.

The first is increased use of the LMW (Leaning Multi-Wheel) technology, currently featured on the Niken and Tritown, which the company figures will allow for an expanded customer base since they promise to be more approachable vehicles compared to those with two wheels only.

The second focus area is control. Clearly, this is where the development into autonomous technology fits in, and we imagine that like BMW, Yamaha will take the lessons learned in riderless tech and apply them to more sophisticated rider aids on motorcycles in the near future.

The third is EV, electronic technology. Harley-Davidson will soon have a fully fledged production electric motorcycle, and we’re sure the Japanese companies like Yamaha and Honda won’t lag behind for long. These two in particular have expansive experience in sophisticated tech for other means of transport, robotics, communications, and a whole lot more. If the market demand makes it worth the effort, an electric motorcycle from Yamaha is something we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see.