BMW isn’t jumping on the hype of autonomous cars just yet, although it didn’t want to miss out on the party by completing ruling itself out. Klaus Büttner, BMW’s vice president of autonomous driving, emphasized a more cautious approach by stressing on the fact that self-driving in an urban environment would not come until some time later.
The company currently has 40 of its 7-Series cars equipped with its prototype self-driving technology testing around Munich, and intends to double that number by the end of 2018, with testing on public roads expanded to the US and China. It is also developing a warning mechanism where in the case of an emergency, the driver can resume control swiftly.
BMW’s follows a similar model to that ofand , although Audi is focusing on improving its self-driving system in stop-and-go traffic. Büttner said that BMW’s cars will use radar, LiDAR and cameras, with some technology supplied by its core partners Intel and Mobileye. The cars’ computers store high-definition maps of specific roads created by Here, a digital mapping consortium owned by BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.