Autonomous driving definitely seems to be the automotive industry’s Holy Grail these days, as peculiar as that may sound. Working round the clock to get the steering wheel out of the cars doesn’t seem to be particularly interesting for car makers and that’s probably why some companies are evolving into ‘tech companies’, to make sure they cope with things to come.
However, we’re far from reaching this ideal at the moment. BMW is signing partnerships left and right looking for the right joint-venture which would cement its place in history once autonomous driving becomes reality. From working with Mobileye to Intel and Delphi, nobody’s off the list. Even Audi and Mercedes, eternal German rivals, have joined forces with BMW to put their resources together in order to develop self-driving cars.
That said, in the footage below, the Bavarians are walking us through what we need to know about this goal in 2018. As you might already know by now, there are five different levels of autonomous driving generally accepted. Level 1 includes adaptive cruise control functions with stop and go features. Level 2 allows you to momentarily take your hands off the wheel but you still need to be able to drive on your own. BMW wants to introduce Level 3 by 2021, a system where you can take your eyes off the road completely.
Level 4 will allow you to completely hand over the driving responsibilities to the car and even nap or read while on your way. In this scenario you’d still be required to be physically fit to take over the controls if need be. The Level 5 systems will turn the driver into a passengers. BMW hopes this will be achievable between 2025 and 2030 and it claims this system won’t require a driver’s license at all. For now things definitely look interesting but there’s a lot more to find out about how these systems will come to be and the footage below does a great job at explaining the inner workings.