Self-driving BMW’s on Chinese market in 2021

BMW is planning to release its self-driving vehicles on the Chinese market five years from now. Recently, the German car manufacturer announced it will work together with Intel and Mobileye to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021. Now it has been confirmed that China will be the first market where these vehicles will become available.

This was confirmed by Maximilian Dömling, BMW’s senior manager for highly automated driving. He did so at a conference about artificial intelligence in China, China Radio International Reported. Dömling painted a picture of driving the highway while the car does everything, including changing lanes, for its occupants. This wil be possible at the press of a button, and the people in the car will always be safe.

Mind off, eyes off, driver off

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. The goal of their collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called ‘eyes off’ (level 3) and ultimately the ’mind off’ (level 4) level, transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time.

This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling, ‘driver off’ (level 5), without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self-driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world, the three companies claim.

Together with Intel and Mobileye, the BMW Group will develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving to bring these technologies into series production by 2021. The BMW iNEXT model will be the foundation for BMW Group’s autonomous driving strategy and set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways but also in urban environments for the purpose of automated ridesharing solutions.

Other industries

On July 1, 2016, the three partners were present at the BMW Group Headquarters in Munich to express their commitment to strive for an industry standard and define an open platform for autonomous driving. The common platform will address level 3 to level 5 automated driving and will be made available to multiple car vendors and other industries who could benefit from autonomous machines and deep machine learning.

BMW, Intel and Mobileye  have agreed to a set of deliverables and milestones to deliver fully autonomous cars based on a common reference architecture. Near term, the companies will demonstrate an autonomous test drive with a highly automated driving (HAD) prototype. In 2017 the platform will extend to fleets with extended autonomous test drives.

Author: Vincent Krabbendam

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