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There will be an autonomous BMW by 2021

BMW teams up with two tech companies to bring a driverless car to market within five years

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BMW has joined forces with tech companies Intel and Mobileye to in effect bring fully autonomous cars to market by 2021. That’s only five years from now. Gulp.

We’ve all heard of Intel, but few have Mobileye. It’s an Israeli company that provides active safety and autonomous tech to car companies. Tesla’s Autopilot uses Mobileye kit. All told, Mobileye’s hard and software is used by something like 20 car manufacturers.

Those of you with particularly vivid memories will remember that 2021 is also the year BMW is set to launch the iNext, an all-electric saloon about the size of today’s 5-Series. This is not a coincidence – the iNext will be “the foundation for BMW Group’s autonomous driving strategy”. In so many words, it’s the first properly autonomous BMW.

There are levels of autonomy, and BMW says the iNext will be capable of levels three through five. This means it will be technically capable of driving itself without anyone in the driver’s seat, although we suspect BMW will introduce a few safeguards to stop anyone from trying that out.

BMW says that once fully developed, the platform will be “made available to multiple car vendors and other industries who could benefit from autonomous machines and deep machine learning.” Awfully nice of it, isn’t it? 

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