BMW Plans To Have Level 4/5 Autonomous Cars By 2021
BMW has put itself on a timeline to develop autonomous vehicles that can drive with reduced dependency and lesser driver interaction by the year 2021.
The cars will be developed under the umbrella of BMW’s new sub-brand iNEXT brand. BMW is planning to make the vehicles be level 4 or 5 autonomous; just so the plan doesn’t seem too stretched out, BMW will work to produce at least 3.5 autonomy vehicles by 2021.
To work on this, BMW has started a collaboration with Mobileye and Intel to develop the Artificial Intelligence required for the vehicles. The speed for production of hardware is being developed at a quicker pace since BMW is of the opinion that there will be a lot of changes in the car industry in the next 10 years.
Right now, BMW provides level 2 autonomy, in which a driver is able to remove his hands momentarily from the steering wheel. There are total 5 levels in autonomy and the ultimate aim is to reach level 4 and 5, where the driver will be able to give up driving completely. Level 3 is where BMW wants to be by 2021 that will allow the driver to relax for short periods of time. In level 4, the driver will be free in most cases except in tricky situations that AI won’t be trusted with. In level 5, the cars will not require any driver.
For this to work, the complex driving will be done by the use of an array of sensors, LiDar, cameras, and lasers. These systems will work in tandem for creating a digitized map of around the car for navigational purposes. According to BMW, around 240 million kilometers of on-road testing to check for safety and fail proof nature of these cars.
BMW isn’t the only company that is working on producing total autonomous cars; with most automakers working on the same to get the best possible advantage from autonomous cars.