BMW is about to launch its first truly autonomous vehicle in 2021 that will be coupled with an electric drivetrain. The iNEXT from BMW was already mentioned in a concept form but now the prototypes are out on the road.
BMW says the Vision iNEXT was developed to address key questions for the future of car – Autonomy Connectivity Electric Services. BMW CEO Harold Kruger said: “The iNEXT project will provide our building blocks for the future, from which the entire company and all of its brands are set to benefit.”
Herr Krueger offered some new details on the upcoming iNEXT during the BMW AG, Conference Call Interim Report in Munich:
“On the product side, the iNEXT is scheduled for launch in 2021. For the first time, we are combining electric and Level 3 highly-automated driving and high-end connectivity and a digitalized interior. All in one vehicle.”
“What this means for customers is: A completely new experience of mobility and everyday driving qualities, with an electric range of more than 600 kilometers.”
“In 2021, we will put a pilot fleet of 500 BMW iNEXT vehicles with Level 4 and 5 functionality on the roads. The necessary technical requirements and chances to international regulations and liability laws are currently in progress.”
“One thing will not change: Customer safety remains our absolute priority.”
A hint has been also provided by the BMW boss about the next-level of autonomous driving to be arriving past 2024. Mobileye has developed the current self-driving platform, while the next-level product arriving by 2024 will be a result of the collaboration between Dailmer and BMW.
The next-generation BMW electric drive will power the BMW iNEXT that will combine the ability to accelerate in less than four seconds to 100 km/h with a range of well over 600 kilometers.
The focus of iNEXT is not on the electric drive as this will already will be the new normal in the company by 2021, rather BMW is working on creating different levels of autonomy that can be purchased by the customers, as the biggest hurdle for the Bavarians is government regulation, not technology.
Dingolfing, Germany plant will be producing the model of Vision iNEXT. At the initial stage, the car will have a Level 3 autonomy.