Automated Driving has achieved great strides in recent years, but no single carmaker has claimed their cars to be fully automated. Because available technologies and to an extent regulation only has the capacity for semi-autonomous driving where it requires the driver to be able to intervene when necessary.
BMW, however, has expressed that they will have highly and fully automated driving technology ready in their BMW iNEXT in 2021. In an interview with Senior Vice President Automated Driving and Driver Assistance, BMW AG, Elmar Frickenstein, BMW Group have created a solid basis for mastering self-driving.
Frickenstein said, when the technology is ready for production, the “Highway Pilot” feature will allow customers to take their hands off the wheel completely when commuting the highway from Munich to Hamburg at speeds of 130 km/h. This will allow customers to spend that precious time doing other things such as reading a newspaper or just enjoying the landscape.
The team is now focusing on adopting artificial intelligence (AI) and simulation as their primary focus of development and are gradually expanding their fleet of testing vehicles. Currently, BMW has 80 vehicles operating in Europe, USA and China for R&D on autonomous driving.
“Our motto is always “safety first”. With the right technology, the right technology partners and an agile working model, automated driving will make our roads safer for everyone. We are changing the face of personal mobility for our customers and giving them back valuable time,” said Frickenstein.