Car (South Africa) - - FEATURE -

MW’S elec­tri cation strat­egy is al­ready un­der way. We’ve seen the com­pany’s i brand launch pro­duc­tion mod­els, the i3 and i8, with an ad­di­tional i3 vari­ant, dubbed the S, re­cently bol­ster­ing the range. At the Frank­furt Mo­tor Show, BMW un­veiled what could be the third model in the i fam­ily. For now, the all-elec­tric model is re­ferred to as i vi­sion Dy­nam­ics, but it could well be a fu­ture i5/i6. The four­door model ts in neatly be­tween the hatch­back i3 and sportscar i8.

BMW sees au­ton­o­mous driv­ing as the real game changer in the au­to­mo­tive world, ac­cord­ing to El­mar Frick­en­stein, se­nior vice pres­i­dent of au­ton­o­mous driv­ing at the BMW Group. His sen­ti­ments were echoed by his coun­ter­part, Robert Ir­linger, who cur­rently heads up the com­pany’s i di­vi­sion, “INEXT 2021, which pre­pares us for full au­ton­o­mous driv­ing, is the Group’s next big project. It is the real big step in the au­to­mo­tive world af­ter elec­tri cation.”

For BMW, the story of mo­bil­ity has changed fun­da­men­tally. Elec­tri cation was a small step, but au­ton­o­mous driv­ing is go­ing to be big. By 2021, BMW plans to of­fer level-three au­ton­o­mous cars. Level three refers to highly au­to­mated driv­ing, but with­out hand­ing over com­plete con­trol. Frick­en­stein says the ear­li­est we will see any form of level-four au­ton­omy (to­tal con­trol to the ma­chine) will be 2021 and then only in three or four care­fully se­lected cities around the world.

Ac­cord­ing to Frick­en­stein, hun­dreds of mil­lions of kilo­me­tres worth of ac­ci­dent-free sim­u­la­tion

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