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    BMW Sees A New Future With Driverless Vehicles


    • BMW Wants To Bring In Programmers To Develop Their Own AI for Autonomous Vehicles

    The differences between automakers and technology companies are blurring more and more each week. Google has been bringing veterans from the auto industry to help with their autonomous vehicle project. Tesla has been hiring people from Google and Apple to help with their vehicles. There are many more examples we could pull out. So it should not come as a surprise that BMW is planning to make some major changes with more of a focus on tech.

     

    Klaus Froehlich, BMW's board member for research and development told Reuters that a major restructuring was going to take place so the company could compete with the likes of Google with building the brain for autonomous vehicles.

     

    "For me it is a core competence to have the most intelligent car," said Froehlich.

     

    To pull this off, BMW will change up its R&D staff so that half will be computer programmers in an effort to build the new AI for self-driving BMW vehicles.

     

    "Our task is to preserve our business model without surrendering it to an internet player. Otherwise we will end up as the Foxconn for a company like Apple, delivering only the metal bodies for them," said Froehlich.

     

    Aside from building their own AI, BMW hopes to build out a cloud network so that a self-driving vehicle could get messages about weather conditions and traffic.

     

    Source: Reuters



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    Beyond moronic. 

     

    Oh, you'll know when BMW is ready to market this 'smart' 'tech'; the ad slogan will (finally) change to "The Ultimate Disengaged Passenger Conveyance".

    Edited by balthazar

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    Any automaker without a self driving car in the future will be out of business.  Those without a self driving car will be like Nokia, Ericsson, and Blackberry when Samsung and Apple entered the phone market.   BMW has to invest in this, just as all others do.

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    2020 is the future. Know what else is the future? 2120.

     

    The dawn of any measurable marketshare of the autonomous car will trail that of the hybrid / electric, which is to say; it will see the most glacial growth rate imaginable, especially in comparison to the hype.

     

    BMW can manufacture 250,000 autonomous 'riding machines' annually if they like… but they'll likely want buyers for them.

    2014 marketshare for HEVs is the same as it was in 2007 : under 3 %, and HEVs have a 15 year head start.

     

    Da facts; dey be cold.

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    All auto companies need to be investing in this as there are many people that would like to have an auto where they just say take me here and not deal with driving. Those of us that love road trips and driving are still plenty but also becoming the lessor of the bulk and in 25 to 50 years we will have a market for those that want self driving. This makes sense to me but I wonder is it better to build your own software for this or pay another company for it?

     

    That is the bigger question, Do you build up a developer group or pay Apple, Android or Tesla for theirs?

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    By 2030 automous cars will be common place.  Semi-autonomous is here already.

    Hydrogen cars are 'here' too, but there is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between 'here' and 'commonplace'.

    IMO, 'commonplace' needs to reach 10% of the market, and that's not going to happen in my lifetime.

    Still waiting for HEV's to hit 3%. This is a niche within a niche.

     

    Plus, might be advisable that all driverless cars look a LOT more like a car, and a lot less like a Pokemon.

    Edited by balthazar

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    Best comment in this thread is by Balthazar:

     

    "Plus, might be advisable that all driverless cars look a LOT more like a car, and a lot less like a Pokemon."

     

    Over all I am not thrilled by this being on the road with me but I also know humans are far to lazy to take responsibility for where they drive.

     

    We will see this, how soon, is any ones guess.

     

    I can say this, the tipping point for EVs is 2022 according to the battery industry. EVs will be cheaper than petro autos is the forecast.

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    The S-class could be fully autonomous (for sale) in 2020.  They already have a working prototype.  What the S-class does the rest of the industry does 10 years later.  So in 2030, I expect an autonomous Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry.

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    The S-class could be fully autonomous (for sale) in 2020.  They already have a working prototype.  What the S-class does the rest of the industry does 10 years later.  So in 2030, I expect an autonomous Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry.

    And expect me to be still driving...me driving...as in me doing the steering and the braking and such in 2020, or 2030...

     

    I will only be 47-57 years old...

    Maybe at  70, 75, Ill be ready to give up my man card.

    Until then, I'll Keep on Truckin'!

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    If I decided to blow my money on an s-class, I'd hire a driver, not spend the extra 10s of thousand to get a driverless version.

     

    The ONLY way this makes sense is for the low tier vehicles; affordable conveyance for the elderly (retirement villages could have a small fleet of pods) or perhaps the disabled/ for some other reason no longer be permitted to drive persons. As an option on an uber expensive car, there's just no marketing reason for it. It's certainly not a luxury feature.

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    Or it makes sense since 30,000 people a year die in car accidents.  Self driving cars would drastically reduce that with their collision avoidance systems.  It wouldn't surprise me if in 2030 the government makes crash avoidance, and semi-autonomous features required just like airbags and seat belts are.  They mandated stability control on every car, mandated back up cameras on every car, they could mandate auto-brake, active lane keep, and collision avoidance at the very least.

    Edited by smk4565

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    There already exists collision avoidance systems on driver-controlled cars.

    The problem, as you allude to, is that although those other systems are already in place, fatalities & accidents still happen. Self-drivers aren't going to eliminate that.

     

    My question is, what do all the brands who have built their reps largely on spirited driving & performance going to do when everything gets dumbed down to 60-MPH conveyance pods??  Say buh-by to 600 HP V-12s!

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    I think it's just that part of it is that few people in the new generation buy vehicles to actually drive them.

     

    They still want luxury and style, the most they can get for the dollar, but spirited driving?! Hell, no, it's viewed as chore.

     

    My take - who wouldn't want to absolve all responsibility for driving and instead binge on Netflix with their 5G LTE WIFI while their Faraway Future vapordream hyperlooper Camcorder goes from supercharger to supercharger all the way across America charging itself and then arriving at their destination for only the eject function to jettison them out the airlock while the car automatically goes to the next rider sharer.

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    Looking at crossover sales, we know a lot of people aren't buying their vehicle due to driving characteristics.  

     

    Oddly enough, the car that is leading the charge on self driving, is also the one with bi-turbo V8s and V12s.  So maybe the best car in the world, will offer the best of both worlds.

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    Google is "leading the charge" on self-drivers, not MB.

     

    If spirited driving weren't popular/ a cornerstone for some brands, things like Mustangs, Corvettes, Camaros, Ferrari, Lambos, and 2 dozen other near & actual 'super' cars wouldn't be the aspiration of millions. Plus you have non-performance brands building non-SOP model hi performance cars, such as audi & the R8 (forget the nonexistent sales of the R8 for a moment).

     

    These brands who offer these vehicles, either as a main focus or as a sidebar, will then put themselves into a position where they will ask you to FORGET "all that go-fast nonsense" and M packaging…. and settle back & watch Netflix as you Pod to the office… in the exact same model except it'll only do 60 MPH top end.

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    The S-class could be fully autonomous (for sale) in 2020. They already have a working prototype. What the S-Class does the rest of the industry does 10 years later.

    Shame that Merc's playing second fiddle to Tesla. I guess someone's always gotta play catch-up.

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    The S-class could be fully autonomous (for sale) in 2020. They already have a working prototype. What the S-Class does the rest of the industry does 10 years later.

    Shame that Merc's playing second fiddle to Tesla. I guess someone's always gotta play catch-up.

     

    Same thing I was thinking.

     

    Tesla is pretty dang close with what they're selling RIGHT NOW. MB is doing swell but it isn't Tesla-like quite yet. 

     

    For SMK: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/semi-autonomous-cars-compared-tesla-vs-bmw-mercedes-and-infiniti-feature

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