BMW will be working with Intel and Mobileye on the development of new autonomous driving technology to be used in a new BMW model that’s expected to be launched in 2021, according to recent reports.
The model will be part of BMW’s new iNEXT platform, and will presumably be followed by other models utilizing the new tech. The 3 companies are apparently working towards the development of an open platform concept that’ll synchronize aspects of the vehicle as distinct as door-locks and Level 5 autonomous driving systems.
As the intent is for an open platform, other auto manufacturers could possibly make use of it as well — in addition to BMW.
The press release for the news provides more: “BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. The goal of the collaboration is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called ‘eyes off’ (level 3) and ultimately the ‘mind off’ (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling ‘driver off’ (level 5) without a human driver inside. This establishes the opportunity for self driving fleets by 2021 and lays the foundation for entirely new business models in a connected, mobile world.”
2021 makes for a fairly ambitious goal. Whatever Tesla CEO Elon Musk may say about fully autonomous driving being a possibility in ~2 years, even 5 years is still a pretty ambitious target. There remains quite a lot to be achieved before Level 5 capabilities are truly an option for consumer vehicles.
As far as the 2021 goal goes, the co-founder of Mobileye, Amnon Shashua, commented that it was a goal with caveats: “We are envisioning fully autonomous driving in a geo-fenced area. Take a city like Munich. A certain (geo-fenced) area provides safe, completely Level 5 autonomous driving.”