- Strike Force Raptor are a militarised unit of the New South Wales Gangs Squad
- A multi-agency operation has seen five motorcycle gang members arrested
- Police seized a handgun, various prohibited weapons, drugs in the operation
- Members were charged with total of nine offences for assault, drug and weapons
Five Hells Angels bikies have been arrested after police found drugs and weapons in a series of raids cracking down on gang activity.
Officers seized a handgun, various prohibited weapons, drugs and items used in the cultivation of cannabis, as part of the four-day operation that ended on Thursday in New South Wales.
Hells Angels Outlaw Motor Cycle Gang colours and paraphernalia were also seized.
The five members were charged with a total of nine offences, including assault, drug and firearms charges and breach of bail.
The anti-gang police enforcement squad, called Strike Force Raptor, was established in 2009.
The strike force is an elite, militarised police unit understood to be made up of 55 top cops with the primary goal of dismantling violent bikie gangs.
Detective Acting Superintendent Nick Read said the coordinated multi-agency operations targeting criminal groups are an important part of combatting unexplained wealth.
The gang crackdown involved officers from Police Area Commands, Police Districts, and Region Enforcement Squads from across the state, and the Public Order and Riot Squad.
‘By executing coordinated cross-border and cross-jurisdictional operations, we enhance our capabilities to disrupt illicit businesses,’ he said.
‘Law enforcement in Australia have a collaborative approach to targeting OMCG, who operate across borders and across a variety of criminal activities.’
Operation Morpheus is a National Anti-Gangs Squad initiative aimed at detecting, deterring, and disrupting illicit activity of OMCGs, their members, and associates.
At the Miramas testing ground circuit in Provence, France, last week, the German automaker unveiled its first autonomous motorbike, based on the best-selling BMW R1200 GS model.
Developed by graduate engineer Stefan Hans and his team, the driverless motorcycle independently drove off, accelerated, circled a winding test track and independently slowed down to a complete stop.
After cars and semi-trucks, here comes AI-powered motorbikes
Despite the amazing feeling to see this artificial intelligence-powered bike driving around the racetrack, BMW said that it has no intention, at least in the near future, to sell a “completely independent motorbike,” and that the underlying technology will be used as a platform to develop future systems and functions to make motorcycling safer and more comfortable.
“Motorcycles are intrinsically dangerous,” said Marco Graziano, CEO of Visible Energy and a lifelong Ducati rider. “Safety is in the driver’s skills, dedication, and the universal rules of chance.”
For the Bavarian automaker, this fully-automated prototype is to gather additional knowledge about driving dynamics in order to detect dangerous situations early on and support the driver with appropriate safety systems while turning at intersections or when braking suddenly, for example.
Atherton Research’s Take
BMW is far from being the only motorcycle maker to work on a fully autonomous motorbike.
Three years ago, Yamaha unveiled its Motobot, an “autonomous motorcycle-riding humanoid” that was developed in partnership with Menlo Park, California-based research firm SRI International. At CES, earlier this year, the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer unveiled its Motoroid proof-of-concept, that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and self-balancing technology, but can’t ride itself.
At CES last year, Honda unveiled its self-balancing bike (but not autonomous): The Riding Assist uses robotic technology to self-balance, rather than relying on gyroscopes, which are heavier and would likely alter the “feel” of riding the bike.
However, autonomous vehicle expert Anthony Levandowski, who helped build Google’s first driverless car and then went on to start the semi-truck Otto startup (later acquired by Uber), is for us one of the early pioneers of AI-driven motorcycles: he built the GhostRider, a driverless motorcycle, for the 2004 DARPA Grand Challenge.
Although Levandowski didn’t win the competition (nobody did that year), he was instrumental in kickstarting the entire self-driving vehicle industry.