Autonomous driving: BMW plans robo-taxi fleet

BMW iNext comes without level 3
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D as autonomous driving seems to be the domain of tech for the foreseeable future -Giants like Waymo (Google) to stay, of the self-confident announcements of the big automakers, there is not much left. Audi no longer brings level 3 autonomous skills to the current A8, which auto motor und sport could already drive with it. And BMW is now even excluding them for the iNext, which should not have a market launch until 2021 and has not yet been officially presented. It was only in July 2020 that the Munich-based company proudly presented the cover in the giant kidney, behind which the extensive sensors for autonomous driving should be housed. The 'central high-tech component for highly automated driving', according to BMW at the time, is vaporized and painted several times in a complex process. In the end, the plastic part should be transparent for radar and lidar sensors.

High-tech coverage for now No value: the fully encased kidney of the iNext offers space for all sorts of sensors that are needed for autonomous driving. However, the E-SUV can only level 2.

Postponement for an indefinite period

The iNext will at least have sensors Not really needed for the market launch, he will be able to drive level 2 instead of level 3 autonomously. A spokesman for the brand confirmed this to auto motor und sport. When driving to level 3, the vehicle could have done all the work for the driver in certain situations, for example in a traffic jam on the motorway. The person at the wheel could turn away from the traffic, but should be able to take over the wheel again in a few seconds if the car entersemits the corresponding signal ..

As far as level 3 is concerned, BMW probably says 'postponed not canceled'. But one does not want to activate the functions until they are safe. When? Unknown.

Lots of tests, no success?

But when you're traveling in the north of Munich, you sometimes get to see the future. In the form of silver BMW 7 Series sedans, which are equipped with all kinds of sensors and cameras.

The car manufacturer is using it to test its systems for automated driving, the A9 motorway is one of the test fields. In the iNext, a motorway assistant should then have taken the lead over longer distances up to speeds of 130 km /h.

In the same year, BMW wanted to put its first test fleet of level 4 self-driving cars on the road. Alejandro Vukotich, head of the campus for autonomous driving at BMW, planned with 500 robot cars.

Worldwide level 4 test operations canceled

They even had it in the USA, Europe and Asia should be used to follow the example of Waymo and Co. 'We will use the vehicles as other companies do,' a report quoted Vukotich. 'It will be a real operation in which we will bring people from A to B. The car will drive autonomously, but there will be a safety driver.' But the use of this fleet now seems a long way off.

The test vehicles would have been based on the iNext, which offers more space (behind the kidney) for the required sensors than the current 7 Series. The new mega-memory from BMW with a capacity of 230 petabytes should have been planned for evaluating the data.


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