BMW’s Self-driving Vehicles Will Begin Hitting The Road For Test Drive In The Second Half Of 2017

Jan 16, 2017 07:10 AM EST | Gerone Trish

Tags BMW, Intel, Mobileye

BMW is coming out with 40 driverless cars for its test drive in the second half of 2017. The newest innovation will be implemented on several BMW models, sporting the latest technology from Intel and Mobileye.

In partnership with Intel and Mobileye, the German car manufacturer aims to introduce self-driving vehicles by 2021. The three companies also announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the first test drive of the new vehicles will transpire in the U.S. and Europe, Reuters reported.      

In the said show, BMW has allowed CNBC to witness the self-driving technology of the BMW's 5-series. The test drive also included two engineers in the front and back seats to assist in the 90-minute test drive.

The autonomous vehicle features a traffic light countdown on the cloud dashboard which tells the time the traffic light will change colors from red to yellow or green. It also sports several sensors like Intel depth sensor and cameras.

The self-driving car will allow the passengers to perform other tasks while on board the vehicle. Since passengers need not to focus their eyes on the road, they can do other things while the 5-series is driving itself to the chosen destination.

During the autonomous vehicle test drive, a Segway parking robot named Loomo was also spotted. This robot is in charge of putting back the self-driving car in the assigned parking slot upon its return from the test drive.

Meanwhile, those who cannot afford to buy a unit of the self-driving BMW models can still have the chance to use the anticipated car. ReachNow, a BMW car rental service company, will also offer the newest line of autonomous cars once released. ReachNow CEO Steve Banfield has announced that ReachNow users may also have the chance to test the self-driving cars of BMW, TechTimes has noted.  

ReachNow is a BMW subsidiary which operates in Seattle. The company rents out various models of the high-end BMW vehicles to those who cannot afford to buy yet the luxurious car or to those who simply want to experience a new variant of BMW. The company has recently reached 40,000 mobile app subscribers.

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