BMW published a video outlining its vision for autonomous driving, and it isn’t slowing down its plans for anyone. The short video guides viewers through the five steps of autonomy, suggesting Level 5 self-driving cars could be realized as early as 2030.
The video opens on a BMW 7 Series wafting along a highway. The driver removes his hands from the steering wheel as the narrator says we’ve already attained the second level of autonomy. At this stage, drivers can take their hands off the wheel to perform short tasks but must quickly resume control of the car. BMW offers this technology with 7 Series models on the market today.
At level three, drivers will be able to take their eyes off the road completely and focus on another task. BMW projects level three automated driving will arrive as soon as 2021.
Level four autonomous vehicles should arrive shortly after. Cars will be able to self-drive the majority of a journey and only require the driver to take over if things become particularly hairy.
BMW estimates level five fully autonomous pilot projects will begin in earnest as early as 2020, and the technology will be offered in its cars as soon as 2030. The automaker suggests the driver will become another passenger and will not need to be physically capable of driving.
The company that has a history of selling engaging cars is redefining its interpretation of driving pleasure by promising a serene, worry-free ride. As the video closes on BMW’s VISION NEXT 100 concept in a futuristic cityscape, the German manufacturer solidifies its commitment to an autonomous future.