The BMW Group's venture client division, BMW Startup Garage, collaborates with emerging digital firms. Driverless mobility will be possible at the facility thanks to software developed by Seoul Robotics and Embotech. Today saw the inauguration of the new BMW 7 Series pilot program.
The Group BMW
today saw the debut of a new initiative that would allow automobiles to navigate assembly lines without a driver. With the help of two startups, Seoul Robotics from South Korea and Embotech from Switzerland, the Automated Driving In-Plant project (also known as M "Automatisiertes Fahren im Werk" or "AFW" ) is being developed. It will improve the effectiveness of new-vehicle logistics in plants and distribution centers.
The Annual Fee Waived (AFW) pilot project's goal is for trucks to travel safely, effectively, and independently across assembly and logistics sectors.
The innovative technology, which was introduced today at BMW Group Plant Dingolfing, will first be tested on two vehicles: the new Bavarian Motor Works 7 (BMW 7) Series and the completely electric BMW i7.
The test program will last for a while. It will then be expanded upon, first on new models at Plant Dingolfing and then at other plants as well.
Autonomous driving for consumers is substantially different from autonomous driving within the factory. The vehicle's sensors are not utilized. According to Sascha Andree, project manager for the BMW Group, the automobile is actually more or less blind, and the sensors for manoeuvring them are installed along the path through the facility.
AFW is based on two core technologies: a sensor infrastructure to assist with vehicle localization and detect barriers in the plant environment, and a drive-planning program that sends controlled orders to the autonomous cars through mobile connections.
At first, only the assembly area and logistics will be used by the cars. They will drive themselves to a parking lot after leaving the assembly line, where they will wait for their next train or truck. In essence, the technology may be employed as soon as the cars are able to drive autonomously in production, or just after the engine is first started.
According to Lee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Seoul Robotics, "This cooperation, with two young startups and an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) like the BMW Group working together on a single project, is possibly the first of its type."
Alexander Domahidi, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Embotech, said, "Without the BMW Startup Garage, we would never have been able to assess and test our idea."
The BMW Startup Garage has a number of success stories, Automated Driving In-Plant is only one of them.
With this strategy, the BMW Startup Garage has successfully completed more than 150 pilot projects with notable startups, totaling more than United States dollar (USD) 4.5 billion in funding.