BMW is on track to deliver a fully self-driving car by the 2021 model year, the company’s senior vice president for autonomous driving, Elmar Frickenstein, claims.
“We are on the way to deliver a car in 2021 with level 3, 4, and 5,” Frickenstein told a panel discussion in Berlin recently, explaining the vehicle will have different levels of autonomy, depending on how and where it is used.
A Level 5 vehicle is capable of navigating roads without any driver input, while levels 3 and 4 still require a steering wheel and a driver who can take over if the car encounters a problem.
Frickenstein later clarified his remarks, saying the company’s autonomous car due in 2021 will offer Level 3 automated driving. This would allow the driver to do other tasks while the car steers itself, but the driver must still be prepared to take control when needed.
Technically, the 2021 BMW will be able to equip the car with Levels 4 and 5. Whether this happens depends on regulations, the availability 5G telecommunications and whether there are road infrastructures in cities on which driverless cars can travel.
BMW is planning to introduce its new “flagship” car into showrooms in 2021. The electric, autonomous car will be coined the BMW iNext. BMW CEO, Harald Krueger has told annual shareholders in Munich that
Krueger told annual shareholders in Munich that the upcoming 2021 vehicle will have a “cutting-edge” electric drivetrain and all new impressive luxurious interior. The new release, along with BMW’s current “i” vehicle line is an all out effort to compete in the luxury car electric vehicle market. This will be an addition to the line which already includes the i8 PHEV and the i3 BEV/REx.
Krueger claimed: iNext is set to be “our new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately brining the next generation of electro-mobility to the road.
BMW is currently revamping company concepts to assure direct competition with the likes of new OEM Tesla which is consistently gaining ground in all current markets, along with the usual competition from, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. This month the company showed its future ideas regarding vehicle autonomy via its Vision Next 100 concept car.
Additionally, the company is realizing that car ownership is continually diminishing in urban environments and expected to keep to this trend for the foreseeable future
To combat this trend BMW has announced its implementation of car-sharing and ride-sharing ventures. Its first introduction is a car-sharing situation in Seattle, with the possibility of more services like this in the future.
Statistics are currently proving that Tesla is dominating the European market forcing the “established” automakers to take notice and up their game in this market. Mercedes has been luckier than BMW with staying ahead of the game, launching new product line-ups and a multiplex of new models. BMW’s sales in the first quarter of 2016 only gained marginal success compared to that of Mercedes.
In an attempt to try to regain their momentum and gain ground, BMW has cut prices by 5.9 percent across the board, on all of their current stock of vehicles, in an attempt to regain the market share. This is partly due to the fact the company’s available models are all “older” models, in direct comparison to the competitors. Nevertheless, BMW is reportedly still on par with 2016 projections.
In his stockholder’s address, Krueger assured that for the seventh consecutive year, his company is on target, While, unfortunately, they need to surpass their target when factoring in the accelerated growth of the dominant competition.
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