BMW to Launch iNext Autonomous Car by 2021
Self-driving tech to play a big part in BMW's future
BMW today held its annual shareholders meeting where it announced its plan to launch a new model called the iNext, an all-electric autonomous car that is slated to go on sale by 2021, Automotive News reports.
As the name suggests, the BMW iNext will fall under the automaker's i brand alongside the i3 and i8. BMW didn't provide any specific details about the iNext, though CEO Harald Krueger told shareholders the iNext will be the company's "new innovation driver, with autonomous driving, digital connectivity, intelligent lightweight design, a totally new interior and ultimately bringing the next generation of electro-mobility to the road."
Back in March, BMW celebrated its 100th year anniversary and showed off its Vision Next 100 concept. The concept featured flashy butterfly doors and shape-shifting body panels, but more importantly, it served as a hint at BMW's idea for autonomous vehicles. The concept features numerous modes including a "Boost Mode" that allows the driver to take full control of the vehicle.
BMW isn't the only automaker feverishly working on autonomous technology. Mercedes-Benz, for example, has fitted the all-new E-Class with advanced semi-autonomous technology, while Volvo, Audi, and Ford continue to invest heavily in self-driving research and development. Self-driving tech may be developing at a fast pace, but legislation regulating autonomous vehicles may pose a bigger challenge in the near future.
BMW Vision Next 100 concept shown in photos.