The Germany based automaker said in May that by 2021 it will have a pilot fleet of 500 utility vehicles, code named iNext, in on-road testing, some with Level 4 capability and others with Level 5. A Level 4 vehicle can self drive in all conditions, but has a steering wheel and driver controls. Level 5 forgoes human controls entirely. CEO Harald Krueger said BMW has partnered with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler to develop self-driving technologies and that Level 4- and Level 5-capable vehicles could be for sale as early as 2024. In the meantime, the first iNext utility to be sold starting in 2021 will have Level 3 capability, able to drive in most situations and telling the driver when to take control.
BMW’s new autonomous test fleet will have Level 4 and Level 5 capability, the biggest difference being no human controls (steering wheel, pedals, etc.) in the Level 5 vehicles. PHOTO: BMW