MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — While competitors such as Audi and Cadillac tout their semiautonomous driving systems, BMW plans to take more time before rolling out a high-speed self-driving system.
Klaus Buettner, BMW's vice president of autonomous driving projects, told reporters last week at an event at the automaker's Silicon Valley office that BMW is spending the next couple of years working with suppliers and testing prototypes to ensure the automaker can introduce a system that can operate at high speeds in most highway driving situations, with the added benefit of being a backup operator in fully automated vehicles.
BMW's system won't be available until 2021, which puts it several years behind competitors.
Audi's 2019 A8, due in the second half of 2018, will feature Traffic Jam Pilot, a Level 3 system — meaning drivers must supervise the system and be ready to take back control. Traffic Jam Pilot can operate in speeds below 37 mph in well-marked, physically separated highways, in places where it has been approved by local governments.
Cadillac's Super Cruise, available now in high-end trims of the 2018 CT6, allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel on limited-access freeways with clear lane markings.