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BMW to open a new development center focused on autonomous driving in Munich

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BMW did set a benchmark in past when the company debuted its i3, first electric car having carbon fiber tubes. The company will again set a standard in 2021 as company unveils its plan for BMW iNEXT- a self-driven, electric and fully connected car to be scheduled for 2021.  The automobile maker is also setting up a facility in Unterschleissheim near Munich for the development of project named as ‘project 2.0’.  From road testing to software development of the iNEXT would be done at the new location with the assistance of more than 2,000 employees.

Klaus Fröhlich from BMW stated in the official blog post,

The road to fully-automated driving is an opportunity for Germany’s automobile manufacturing base. The decision to develop and road-test these vehicles in the Munich area illustrates how the BMW Group and the whole region can benefit from this shift in the automotive industry.

Further for the success of iNEXT, BMW would be pooling its expertise from different fields present across globe at the new facility. The collaboration will enable the company to access short decision-making process equipping them with flexibility and speed. This will also lead to increased agility and faster tech-focused development. The company plans to start testing the automated vehicles in 2017 and market the product by 2021.

Currently, the company has employed 600 people (mostly software developers) but the number will increase in coming months. The connected mobility team is engaged in programming the software and implementing their ideas. BMW will appoint teams of IT specialists and software developers in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis in future. André Müller, a software developer for the project shares his current experience and says,

We use the latest technologies, such as ROS (Robot Operating System), and are able to see the results quickly and directly in the vehicle. It is extremely exciting to be working on such an important area for the future.


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