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Unmanned Systems & Solutions

BMW to Launch Self-Driving Cars in 2017

BMW has announced public testing of autonomous driving vehicles. 40 models from the 7 Series are being used.

16 Jan. 2017 Elisabeth Oberndorfer

40 autonomous BMW 7 Series cars

BMW 1 Teaser
BMW intends to send the first 40 self-driving passenger cars onto the streets in the first half of 2017. (Image: BMW)

BMW used the CES fair in Las Vegas this past Wednesday to provide more details about their plans for self-driving vehicles. The company plans to conduct public testing in the second half of this year, with autonomous vehicles sent live onto the streets. The tests will be conducted in Europe and the USA, although BMW has yet to reveal precise locations.

The test fleet is comprised of 40 models from its 7 Series, built by BMW in conjunction with its partners Intel and Mobileye. Intel is providing the "Go" platform, designed especially for self-driving vehicles. Mobileye is supplying the processors needed for image recognition. The Israeli sensor maker is also working with BMW on software for controlling the vehicle.

Munich as a test site?

BMW is currently establishing a development center for autonomous driving in Munich. The car marker announced in October that its home city would be the site of its first pilot program using self-driving passenger cars .

BMW established a partnership with Intel and Mobileye back in 2016. In recent weeks, the three companies signed map service Here to join their efforts. Intel is the first new institutional investor in the Nokia spinoff that was purchased by BMW, Daimler and Audi. Mobileye will support Here through maps for self-driving vehicles .