CES: BMW Deploying Self-Driving 7 Series Fleet to Roads This Year

BMW will dispatch a fleet of autonomous vehicles to U.S. and European cities in this year’s second half, the next step in its partnership with Mobileye and Intel to introduce fully self-driving vehicles by 2021, according to Bloomberg. The German automaker will put 40 of its 7 Series sedans on the road and train them to drive in urban areas.

The goal is to apply the gathered data toward producing the iNext, which will supplant the 7 Series as the BMW brand’s flagship model and be capable of full autonomy four years from now. Automakers and technology companies are rushing to form partnerships to compete against the likes of Google, which has clocked 2 million self-driving miles on public roads, and Tesla, with 1.3 billion miles of data from Autopilot-equipped vehicles.

BMW will be following Uber and Volvo in putting autonomous cars on the road, with the latter two companies partnering on test vehicles in Pittsburgh and Arizona. Other carmakers have been reluctant so far to heed BMW’s call for adopting its platform. Rival Daimler has said it prefers to develop its own technology. Mobileye brings expertise in cameras that model the surroundings while Intel wields computing capabilities to power artificial intelligence. The companies released details in conjunction with CES 2017, the consumer-technology show in Las Vegas.

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