In Depth

BMW sets goal of 2021 for its iNext self-driving car

Reports say the firm's driverless vehicle will 'bridge the gap' between level 3 and 4 autonomy

BMW iNext

BMW is planning to start production of its "fully autonomous" iNext electric car in 2021, according to Autocar.

As part of a collaboration between the German car giant, Mobileye and Intel, the magazine says that iNext will offer drivers "level 3.5 autonomy" when it launches in four years' time. 

"Although not one of the official five levels of autonomy, level 3.5 will bridge the gap between 3 and 4", says Autocar. 

This means that the iNext could be able to drive itself without human intervention (which is classed as level 3 autonomy). BMW will also be able to cherry-pick elements from the level 4 category, such as the option of aborting journeys if the driver fails to retake control in emergency situations. 

Earlier this month, Top Gear revealed that the iNext will be a "mid-size electric crossover designed around self-driving and connectivity." 

But the website argues that the electric vehicle will "have to be advanced" to compete with the array of driverless cars currently on offer or set to launch over the next few years. These include the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla's current Model X SUV.

Meanwhile, the German car giant has recently gone into partnership with Delphi, a British automotive technology film, with the aim of developing a driverless car platform by 2021. 

While BMW has yet to confirm whether or not Delphi is directly involved with its iNext self-driving car, TechCrunch claims that the British firm is working with Intel and Mobileye – both of which are developing the electric crossover. 

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