BMW Plans Self-Driving Car, But Not Until 2021

By Christian Stampfer on 5 July 2016
  • Share

DSC_0022 (1)MUNICH — Just weeks after the driver of a Tesla Model S electric vehicle died in a crash in Florida while the car was in its Autopilot mode, BMW announced plans to offer a “self-driving car,” although it won’t be available until 2021 at the earliest and it will use markedly different technology than that which is currently used on the Tesla and other current vehicles with similar features.

BMW is working with Intel and Mobileye, an Israeli company that makes camera and sensing technology, to develop new systems to control the vehicle.

“Today we are standing at the brink of a new revolution,” said Harald Krüger, the automaker’s Vorstandsvorsitzender, or CEO, at a news conference in Munich Friday.

The Tesla crash, said Mr. Krüger, was “really very sad” and demonstrated why the Bavarian automaker would require “the next few years” to perfect its technology. “Today the technologies are not ready for serious production.”

Tesla uses some Mobileye components but the Autopilot system was developed in house. BMW’s vehicle will be able to be self-driving in highway settings but the system may not be suitable for busy urban settings. The automaker already has some technologies including Pedestrian Warning with City Braking Activation that are designed to prevent accidents in such areas.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)