The premium German maker said it teamed up with Intel and Mobileye to develop autonomous technologies that would bring the first self-driving car by 2021.
BMW has realized later than other carmakers that it has to step up its technological game if it still wants to lead the premium sector while also properly responding to threats coming from Silicon Valley companies such as Google or Apple. Therefore, in its centenary year, it committed to change its view and to heavily invest in zero-emissions and autonomous techs. As part of this push, BMW announced it formed a partnership with Intel – one of the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip makers – and with Mobileye – a Jerusalem-based company that develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems – to bring self-driving features to the next level.
“Together with our partners Intel and Mobileye, we will develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving. We will bring these technologies into series production by 2021 with the BMW iNEXT,” Harald Kruger, BMW CEO, said in a statement. “This car will set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways but also in an urban environment.”
The BMW iNext electric concept was displayed in May, a project that embodies the company’s vision of the future. In its quest to be a leader in the trend, BMW said it focused on reaching, in the coming years, “level 3 ‘eyes off’, level 4 ‘mind off’ and even level 5, the final stage of traveling without a human driver inside,” of automation.
The company also announced earlier this year it intends to expand its lineup, preparing more versions of 7-Series flagship, its first ever X7 crossover generation starting from 2018 and even a Rolls-Royce SUV.