The iNext vehicle will feature Level 3 autonomy.
As we have already reported, BMW is joining forces with Mobileye and Intel to work on autonomous technologies set to be used in future production models of the brand. The first to feature such systems will arrive in 2021.
It’s going to be called the iNext and will be capable of Level 4 and 5 of autonomy. At this point, it’s very hard to predict whether or not this will be аpplicable in real-life road conditions, because it depends on a number of external factors. Given that, BMW promises the vehicle will certainly feature Level 3 of autonomy, which means drivers will sometimes be able to completely turn off their attention from driving, but must be able to step in again in short notice.
To achieve its goals in timely manner, BMW will launch a fleet of 40 highly automated or fully autonomous 7 Series test vehicles by the end of the year. Test drives will take place on public roads, the Bavarian company says, and focus on two main types of use: driving without oncoming traffic (motorways) and driving in city centre environments. The public roads of USA, Israel, and Germany will be used for the tests – the home countries of Intel, Mobileye, and BMW.
Initial theoretical calculations show around that 240 million kilometres of testing on public roads would be needed for the engineers and testers to guarantee the autonomous cars are ready to be launched on the market. In reality, this is neither practicable nor sensible, BMW says, so it will instead analyze "foundation" situations that have been investigated in real-world trials.
Currently, just like most of the car companies, BMW offers Level 2 autonomy, where the driver can remove his or her hands from the steering wheel for brief periods. The ultimate goal is Level 4 and 5 autonomy, where the driver will become just another passenger in the vehicle.
Find more details at the attached press release below.