THE ROAD TO AUTONOMOUS DRIVING.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE AT THE BMW GROUP.

The last few decades have seen a quantum leap in terms of development – not only in cars but in driving too. And it’s not just in terms of technology: our understanding of modern-day mobility has changed as well. Driving is about so much more than just steering, accelerating and braking. Far more, it’s connected, designed for dynamics and comfort and therefore increasingly automated. Cars now have intelligent systems that allow them to adapt to the driver and their needs while also improving safety.

Since the 1990s the BMW Group has been investing in modern mobility and creating increasingly automated systems to help driver and vehicle become independent of each other. The road to autonomous driving is categorised into five levels and is being realised in several stages. With its current focus on Levels 3 and 4 – on the development of fully automated driving, in other words – the BMW Group is committed to advances in every area, contributing to the perfect driving experience every driver desires.

THE FOUNDATION OF MODERN DRIVING: RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY.

 

The BMW Group is actively enhancing its existing Level 1 to 5 automated driving functions, and work is underway on developing new features and technologies as well. Various development projects, such as iAATG, are constantly carrying out research into technology development across the five levels, with machine learning and AI as key focal points for the development of hardware. With the help of partnerships and subsidies, the BMW Group aims to make automated driving a comprehensive component of future mobility.

Research and technology

TOMORROW’S MOBILITY – TODAY.

At the BMW Group, partly automated driving is already a reality: we are the first carmaker in Germany to offer a partly automated driving system for speeds of up to 130 km/h. In the new BMW 5 Series Sedan, the new BMW Highway Assistant will come into use for even more comfortable and intuitive driving, even at high speeds. The Driving Experience is further enhanced by Active Lane Change Assist with eye activation, also coming to the BMW 5 Series Sedan.

As of spring 2024, BMW drivers will also get to benefit from highly automated driving. The new BMW 7 Series models will feature the BMW Personal Pilot L3, a new function that opens up even more scope for the driver and can regulate speed, stopping distance and lane guidance. Level 2 and 3 automated driving are an established part of the BMW Group’s product portfolio – with more new technologies to come.

FIVE LEVELS LEAD TO AUTONOMOUS DRIVING.

autonomous driving
Das assistierte Fahren

LEVEL 1: ASSISTED DRIVING.

These days driving is much more than a “driver only” affair, as a great many cars are already equipped with intelligent driver assistance systems. With Level 1 assisted driving, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is fundamentally important, ensuring to preselected speeds and stopping distance preferences are adhered to, supporting the driver in certain situations and making driving more convenient. 

Das teilautomatisierte Fahren

LEVEL 2: PARTLY AUTOMATED DRIVING.

This takes even more of the strain off drivers. Advanced driver assistance systems with extended sensor technology enable greater automation, which in turn significantly increases comfort and efficiency for the driver. For limited periods, the Steering and Lane Control Assistants can take care of braking, acceleration and steering – but drivers must keep their eyes firmly on the traffic and be ready to intervene at any time.

Das hochautomatisierte Fahren

LEVEL 3 HIGHLY AUTOMATED DRIVING.

The technological leap from Level 2 to Level 3 is very challenging indeed, and at BMW it is underpinned by a comprehensive safety concept. When it comes to keeping control in complex traffic situations, the successful interplay between top sensor systems, real-time-capable HD mapping and reliable detection of traffic events is fundamental. With highly automated operations, however, drivers must still be able to take over the controls in a matter of seconds. In Germany, BMW has already obtained approval for its Level 3 assistance systems, which will soon be rolled out in the BMW 7 Series.

Das vollautomatisierte Fahren

LEVEL 4: FULLY AUTOMATED DRIVING.

In some situations, the system can take over driving completely. The driver then becomes a passenger for the time being and need no longer keep an eye on the system. On some stretches, the driver is asked in good time to take over the controls again. A valid driving licence is still required at this level of automation, and the driver must be fit to drive. As always, how much of the driving they want to do themselves is up to them to decide.

Das autonome Fahren

LEVEL 5: AUTONOMOUS DRIVING.

At Level 5 the car is controlled completely by the system and performs all the necessary tasks autonomously and of its own accord. Autonomous cars can even handle complex situations, such as crossing an intersection, navigating a roundabout or responding correctly at a zebra crossing. With Level 5 a driver is no longer needed, and everyone is a passenger.

Driving Campus

BMW GROUP AUTONOMOUS DRIVING CAMPUS.

The BMW Group’s Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim, just north of Munich, is dedicated to innovation and the development of the BMW Group Driving Experience. It’s a new working environment geared towards flexibility and efficiency and invites young experts to engage in agile thinking and come up with creative ideas.

SAFELY TO THE DRIVING EXPERIENCE OF THE FUTURE.

When it comes to autonomous driving, safety is our top priority. This means the focus is not just on developing safety-critical systems but also on monitoring and testing the relevant technologies. For customers to place their trust in our automated driving systems, safety is essential. And that’s why every detail of every innovation is tested and tested again. Because we want drivers to have complete confidence in their cars.

Page Overview: Automated Driving