At a summit on artificial intelligence and robotics in China’s southern city of Shenzhen, BMW said it is planning to launch self-driving vehicles in China. Maximilian Doemling, senior manager for highly automated driving at BMW Group, says the self-driving car will hit roads five years from now.

“If you’re expecting autonomous function where you can be on the highway, pressing the button and the car is doing everything for you, like lane changing and driving and that stuff, and you can play with smartphone, and you’re always safe, I mean we had the big announcement with Intel and Mobileye that we will have the iNext in 2021.”


Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Harald Krüger, said that the iNEXT will be, “our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road.”

The new model is the centerpiece of BMW’s effort to defend its position in the luxury-car market as consumers’ preferences are changing and shifting towards electric and self-driving automobiles. BMW is responding to pressure from Tesla and traditional rivals like Mercedes as well as the potential iCar by Apple.

IHS Automotive estimates self-driving vehicles will account for around 10 percent of the global auto market in 2035.

However, it’s been suggested by analysts there is still a long way to go to manufacture a completely reliable driverless car.