Apparently the driverless technology currently in development at BMW’s i division for the first autonomous car coming in 2021 will then start to spread towards the rest of the traditional range much in the same way electric technology has.
The timeframe is after 2021, according to BMW senior vice president Hildegard Wortmann, who explained that electric technology from the i3 and i8 has been slowly but surely integrated into the wider family of BMW cars, currently touching almost every model line. “BMW has the largest number of plug-in hybrids on the road,” the executive commented. “You can have a plug-in hybrid from the [2 Series] Active Tourer to the 7 Series, so in every segment we have an offer out on the street today.”
Wortmann also corroborated other reports that with the wider adoption of EV technology across the range, the i division is not focusing on electric powertrains anymore, and instead has been tasked towards developing autonomous technologies. “With BMW i, the i is not electric – otherwise it would have been an e – the i is for innovation and incubator function,” she commented. “When we launched the i brand the focus was on EVs. Now it’s on autonomous technology, but after that, the focus will move on.” So we can see how the division has passed the electric point, now moving towards the autonomous technologies, and then it will again repurpose itself towards what the company needs.