Companies will soon begin testing a highly automated driving prototype.
The Ultimate Driving Machine could soon become the Ultimate Passenger Machine as BMW has announced plans to launch a fully autonomous vehicle by 2021.
Since the path to fully autonomous driving is "complex and will require end-to-end solutions that integrate intelligence across the network," BMW is teaming up with Mobileye and Intel. The partnership will lay the groundwork for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles that can be used as an automated ridesharing service.
The companies are convinced that automated driving technologies will make travel safer and easier. As part of this mission, the companies will develop an autonomous driving system which will enable "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." Eventually, we could reach a so-called “driver off” level (level 5) where the car doesn't even need a human inside.
In the short term, the companies will begin testing the autonomous driving technology in a "highly automated driving" prototype. Next year, the program will be expanded to include fleets of semi-autonomous vehicles.
Interestingly, BMW says the technology will be offered to other automakers as well as different companies that could benefit from "autonomous machines and deep machine learning."