Report: BMW wants to sell fully-autonomous vehicles by 2021
As the industry trend for self-driving cars continues, BMW wants to ramp up their efforts as well.
What’s going on?
BMW announced some new plans for its lineup in the coming years. According to AutomotiveNews, the Bavarian automaker seeks to produce and sell fully-autonomous vehicles by 2021.
Speaking with BMW’s senior vice president for the brand’s autonomous driving division, Elmar Fickenstein, a new BMW will arrive with “Level 3, 4 and 5” stage autonomous vehicles.
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What does that mean?
Well, it doesn’t mean the 3-, 4-, and 5-Series will be the models to become self-driving capable. It means there’s a new classification system for autonomous vehicles, representing just exactly how autonomous capable they are. At the bottom, you have minimally to no self-driving capabilities. At level three and above, the more self-driving capabilities are equipped.
Beginning with level three, the car is semi-autonomous with assistants like lane departure correction, or Mercedes’ latest adaptive cruise control. Levels four and five are fully-autonomous capable, like Tesla’s Model S with AutoPilot.
When could we expect to see these cars begin testing?
BMW recently teamed up with Intel and Mobileye to help develop the new computers to run BMW’s autonomous driving programs. BMW engineers will focus more on developing the handling dynamics and safety systems.
The plan: have a fully operational fleet of autonomous 7-Series for real-world testing by the end of this year.
– By: Chris Chin
Self-Driving BMW 5-Series at the 2017 CES