BMW is expected to offer Level 3 of autonomy in the next few years

We are discussing autonomous cars literally every single day now. Self-driving tests are legal in many places around the world and virtually every major automaker is working on its own autonomous project, including Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Volkswagen Group, Daimler, Toyota, Tesla, Volvo, and BMW.

Most of the companies are at the same level of development, but are marketing their products in different ways. It’s hard to define who’s at the forefront of this race, but BMW, together with Tesla and Chevrolet, is probably the brand that is closest to releasing production autonomous cars.

The Ultimate Passenger Machine with Level 5 autonomy is expected to arrive in 2021. Currently, the manufacturer, and actually most of the players in the business, has reached Level 2, which says the driver can remove his hands from the steering wheel for brief periods.

BMW's autonomous developments:

In a new short promotional video, BMW is explaining all the stages of development it has to go through to reach fully autonomous driving. At Level 3, drivers will sometimes be able to completely turn off their attention from driving, but must be able to step in again in short notice.

Once Level 4 is reached, BMW explains, the driver might even be able to sleep during journeys, but must be still fit to drive in case he has to take over control in certain sections of the ride. The biggest difference Level 5 autonomy will bring is that vehicles will drive themselves fully autonomously and the driver will become just another passenger and won’t even be able to take over control.

BMW is expected to offer Level 3 of autonomy in the next few years as a final step before it starts completely autonomous tests early next decade. Still, don’t expect to see a fully self-driving car by the company until at least 2025.

Source: BMW

Gallery: 2017 BMW 5 Series Autonomous Prototype