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The next step in autonomous driving is “brain-off”: BMW

Published: January 4, 2016

March 7th  will be the auspicious day on which BMW is going to reveal some of their interesting concepts and ideas. Talking about the event, Robertson from the company said that the time to embrace autonomy has finally arrived. To celebrate its centenary, BMW won’t be revealing a new supercar, as most automakers do. Instead, as BMW’s head of sales and marketing Ian Robertson indicated, it plans to release a self-driving model.

“There will be some products we will share. But while we will celebrate a century of being in business, we will predominantly be looking at the century ahead. Maybe what I’ve been alluding to [autonomous driving] will be the direction of that.”

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Discussing the development of autonomous driving technologies, Robertson said that the next phase of such technologies is the “brain off” phase, where no driver is needed, taking the next step forward from the current “feet off”, “hands off” and “eyes off” tech that is being developed. He conceded though that, largely due to safety issues, completely autonomous cars could be up to 15 years away from reaching the market.

While as expected, it is going to be a concept vehicle and not the one that is ready to hit the roads, it is the first step towards making cars less reliant on humans. The popular automobile brand is gearing up to celebrate its centenary year this year and when they do so, they wish to show something that is totally next gen. BMW opined that autonomous cars are the way to go and they have opted for it.

The autonomous cars are the crowd favorite at the moment right next to the fully electric vehicles. While electric vehicles face the issue of mileage and access to electricity on the go factor, they are stuff that could be fixed in the near future. Garages and petrol stations are already being equipped to allow people to charge their car for long journeys.

BMW cars already have many autonomous features active cruise control, intelligent parking assist, connected drive etc.  in its recently upgraded 7 series and BMW i3. The awkward task of exiting the vehicle in narrow garages and car parks is now a thing of the past. The innovative Remote Control Parking function allows the driver to exit the BMW 7 Series and then manoeuvre it forwards into the parking space using the BMW display key.

Real Time Traffic Information (RTTI) provides the most up-to-date traffic information at all times. Precise details about the location and duration of delays are transmitted in order to keep the driver informed, practically in real time, about the current traffic situation on motorways, country roads and on many routes within the city. Intelligent alternative route suggestions help the driver reach their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The data are drawn from such sources as anonymous movement profiles from the GPS data of vehicle fleets, smartphone apps and police reports, and also takes into account established traffic patterns such as peak commute times. There are many such features in BMW and its launch of autonomous vehicles would just be an easy and swift shift.

Source: BMW and YSSN

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