BMW has always been at the forefront of driving and automotive technology, providing buyers with “the ultimate driving machine” for decades. That commitment to offering the best, most superior vehicles on the road has extended to the world of autonomous driving; the company recently announced its intention to offering a fully autonomous vehicle as early as 2021.
BMW’s recent move is designed to help compete with some of the hottest technology companies in the marketplace today. Google, General Motors and Tesla are all racing to develop a true autonomous vehicle; most other automakers are aiming for a slow rollout of this technology; it could take up to two decades for other major car makers to catch up.
Technology Partnerships Power BMW’s Autonomous Driving Plan for the Future
Both Mobileye (an Israeli tech business that currently leads the market in the cameras that are needed for safe autonomous driving) and Intel are onboard to help BMW achieve its goals. BMW’s recent announcements concern a fleet of autonomous vehicles designed to work with a ridesharing platform like Uber, but the car maker has not announced any particular partnership.
These partnerships are key to the eventual success of the BMW autonomous program. Mobileye provides extensive camera capabilities which allow the self-driving car to “see” all the areas around the vehicle on the road. The company’s Artificial Intelligence systems use machine learning to process details and information and make the right decisions; AI is designed to help protect occupants and other drivers when the autonomous vehicle takes to the road.
While Intel’s role has yet to be announced, the computing power required to work with detailed mapping functions and to avoid other vehicles and pedestrians is likely coming from the tech giant’s support.
So far, the company’s in house autonomous fleet includes about 24 fully equipped vehicles and continues to log anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 miles per vehicle per week. As the program progresses, BMW is hopeful that fully equipped autonomous vehicles could roll out for the public in just the next four years. This timeline is drastically shorter than that anticipated by other automakers and showcases the company’s commitment to technological advancements in the coming years.
Right now, the BMW autonomous vehicle is likely to make its debut in specific geo-fenced areas with fully defined boundaries. By starting in specifically designed areas, the company can both improve safety and ensure that consumers can see the autonomous vehicles in action and gain confidence about sharing the road with driverless rideshare cars.
What Does BMW’s Autonomous Driving Program Mean for You?
The new focus on AI and autonomous cars means that BMW is putting the pedal to the metal when it comes to technology. While the new vehicles are designed to be for rideshare purposes, the tech used could spill over into consumer vehicles as the brand evolves.
You may not be able to take a nap or read a book as you cruise to work in your new BMW just yet, but you can still enjoy the smoothest and best ride on the road today. Contact BMW of Freeport to learn more about what BMW can offer you and your family today and what you can expect in the future.