BMW deploying self-driving 7 series fleet to roads this year

BMW AG will dispatch a fleet of autonomous vehicles to US and European cities in this year’s second half, the next step in its partnership with Mobileye NV and Intel Corp. to introduce fully self-driving vehicles by 2021. The German automaker will put 40 of its 7 Series sedans on the road and train them to drive in urban areas, Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s head of development, said in an interview. The goal is to apply the gathered data towards 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 Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which has clocked 2 million self-driving miles on public roads, and Tesla Motors Inc., with 1.3 billion miles of data from Autopilot-equipped vehicles. BMW is appealing to other carmakers to adopt its approach to help shoulder research costs, speed development by sharing data and ensure they don’t become also-rans. (Gabrielle Coppola and Ian King/Bloomberg)

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