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Saturday, July 30, 2016

BMW Announces Self-Driving Car to be Produced by 2021

BMW has announced that it aims to produce fully self-driving vehicles by 2021 having entered into a partnership with US computer chip group Intel and Israeli sensor manufacturer Mobileye.

The German car make announced last week that it is seeking to become the number one producer of autonomous cars and publicly confirmed that it wants to dominate the technology that many think could revolutionise the automotive industry.

The manufacturer confirmed that within the next five years it will produce the ‘iNext’ which is a car that will contain technology that will “set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous cars” in both urban environments as well as on highways.

The partnership deal marks the latest in a series of collaborations between technology groups and car manufacturers.

VW, General Motors and Toyota have all backed other transport innovations by doing deals with car hailing firms Gett, Lyft and Uber respectively, while Google and Fiat are currently at work on the production of a self-driving minivan.

However, BMW’s collaboration has arrived at a time when car manufacturers are struggling with the complex nature of engineering self-driving vehicles, while last week’s announcement was made just hours after the first fatal crash in a self-driving car, as reported by Tesla Motors.

The firm revealed that one of its Model S electric cars drove into the side of a truck last month after a failure from its Autopilot radar system to spot the white vehicle against “a brightly lit sky”. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is now investigating the incident.

Meanwhile, Tesla commented that the incident was a tragedy but insisted that its automotive driving technology is still far from perfect and requires the driver to stay alert at all times.

Harold Kruger, BMW Chief Executive, admitted last week that this crash illustrates that the technology is not yet ready for serious production.
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