Technology

BMW´s road to autonomous driving

Personal mobility and its industrial application are on the brink of a technological quantum leap. The car and the technologies that make it tick are set to change more in the next 10 years than they have in the past 30 combined.

The BMW Group sees itself as being well equipped to meet this challenge.

Over the course of recent years, the BMW Group has already demonstrated the basic essentials needed for autonomous driving at various events.

As long ago as 2006, a BMW 3 Series was already lapping the circuit at Hockenheim by itself, while automated prototypes from the BMW Group started undergoing road tests on the A9 motorway between Munich and Nuremberg in 2011.

Since 2014, more advanced prototypes from the BMW Group have been equipped with 360° environmental sensing technology, giving them the ability to avoid accidents.

2014 was also the year that an automated prototype from the BMW Group drifted its way around the Las Vegas Speedway for the first time, proving that even driving at the limits of performance is within the realms of possibility.

Automated vehicles are now even capable of parking themselves when prompted to using simple gestures (automated valet parking).

The BMW Group has in the meantime gone one step further: as a result of its acquisition of a stake in HERE in 2014 and it collaborations with Intel, Mobileye (since 2016) and other partners, the BMW Group has given the go-ahead for developing the BMW iNext for series production in the year 2021.

Building on the current Driving Assistant Features in the new BMW 7 Series and BMW 5 Series representing “level 2 automated driving” the BMW iNext will offer to the customer “level 3” automated driving. Once level 3 is reached, it will be possible for driver and vehicle to share the responsibility for controlling the vehicle for the first time, during highly automated driving in traffic that is moving in the same direction.

The BMW Group and its partners are working together on standards, platforms and a backend for the future of automated driving and would be delighted to welcome new partners into their alliance at any time.

The interview was filmed with Sarah Lockett, Business Correspondent of The Business Debate and Reinhard Stolle, VP AI Machine Learning.

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