As announced a while back, BMW officially opened its autonomous driving campus today in Unterschleißheim near Munich. High ranking officials from both the company and local administration offices were present on the scene to make sure the new center has a proper welcome into the world. This is viewed by the company as a confirmation and final detail needed to be able to call itself a technology company from now, steering away from the ‘car maker’ typology.

The BMW Group’s campus for autonomous driving is a state-of-the-art center of excellence that covers every base when it comes to offering greater capacity for innovation and increased development efficiency – and ultimately securing the company’s future sustainability. 15 months ago, the BMW Group took the decision to pool together its development expertise in the fields of vehicle connectivity and highly / fully automated driving at a single location.

The campus, which offers 23,000 square meters of office space with room for 1,800 employees, was completed in record time. The site’s optimum infrastructure, its proximity to the Research and Innovation Center, and the nearby link to the motorway network helped to swing the decision in its favor. BMW is intending to drive forward development of highly automated vehicles with the new campus in Unterschleißheim, and is looking to recruit IT specialists and software developers in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis.

This is a time of disruptive change in the automotive industry, with the arrival of new players making the competitive environment ever more challenging. The pace of innovation is accelerating rapidly and young professionals cite future viability, a modern working environment and flexible, agile workflows as key to an employer’s attractiveness. A cutting-edge development facility such as the new campus for autonomous driving therefore represents a crucial asset for the company’s long-term sustainability and innovative capability.