Implementing a city, state, or even national system of centralized computer control for vehicles appeared to have many benefits. By taking human reaction time out of the equation - vehicles could go faster, or at a more efficient speed, move closer, and no one would slow down to stare at accidents (if there were any). Real-time tracking and rerouting would avoid bottlenecks and make peak periods more efficient. Actual drivers would have their stress levels reduced, and be free to use their commuting time for other pursuits. Inebriated drivers would be a thing of the past, since computers don't get drunk. A system based on transponders in the road would still be cheaper and easier than fitting every vehicle with autopilot, and the necessary radar/lidar/camera systems necessary - and would benefit from years of experience with air traffic control, rather than the new coordinating multiple systems.
The idea meat a huge amount of resistance. Legally, there was always the question of liability if something did go wrong. Others felt that their driving was above average and they didn't need a system to hold their hand. A few felt this was way too much government intrusion, and some more balked at the cost of both the system, and the added price to cars. People living in new car-less communities didn't want to subsidize those who didn't and as usual - there were numerous arguments that the government had more important things to spend its money on that new cars.
Since the rider is by default part of the motorcycle's control system - it was impossible to make an auto-driven unit. Cycles also had the advantage of fairly low cost, and high fuel efficiency, and their smaller size made parking and finding space for them easier. Furthermore, the open design gave a greater sense of freedom, even as more people were put in EDGE domes and giant arcologies. Its also worth noting that cycles retained their traditional design aesthetics, while many high-efficiency cars looked like tiny eggs placed on dollys or giant bricks from the 1950s to hold large battery banks.
2050 cycles don't seem very different from earlier models. Metal has yet to be replaced by carbon fiber due to the engine placement, flammability concerns, and the usefulness of weight to control inertia. Some do use structural batteries to reduce weight (built from plastics containing nano-energy cells so that it serves double duty) and many now use either electric motors or multi-fuel turbines. The march of computers has been felt though - many helmets now include heads up displays and night vision - though analog dials are still mounted for those who don't want to spend several thousand dollars just on a reinforced hat.
Typical Zone Cycle
- SDI 2 (Not meant to stop bullets)
- Animus Points: 8 (convergent)
- Abuse: 1d8 (well built)
- Fuel: 1d10 (Quite Efficient)
- Agility: +2d6
- Overdrive: 2 (Motors aren't made to soup-up)
- Capacity: 2 people/600 lbs
- Speed: Around 160kph
- Sensors: Cycles don't have any notable automatic systems (No Wits). Some may incorporate sensors into the operator's helmet - but this is often seen as an optional piece of equipment.
- Cycles generally have a threshold at the end of a track of 1d6 - most systems are exposed, including the person riding it!
- Power Plant: A wide variety of styles were available - electric, multi-fuel piston, and MF turbine.
- Cycles generally have no weapons, and would impose a notable penalty to hit (-2d6) if someone tried to fire while riding one.
Reduced Stat Block
- Abuse: 1d8
- Fuel: 1d10
- HP: 8
- SDI: 2
- Agility: 2d6