MUNICH – BMW's Vision iNext crossover concept showcases the automaker's ideas about how autonomous, connectivity and electric drivetrain technologies will be integrated into a flagship car planned to launch in 2021.
BMW released pictures and details of the Vision iNext on Sunday after taking the concept on a global preview tour for the media earlier this month aboard a Lufthansa Boeing 777F cargo plane that stopped in Munich, New York, San Francisco and Beijing.
The Vision iNext "defines our future of mobility," Klaus Froehlich, BMW's development chief said at the Munich preview. "It's our trailblazer for all the strategic innovations we are heavily working on."
The production iNext will be a flagship for BMW’s i subbrand. Its innovations eventually will migrate to the rest of the automaker's lineup.
The production car will not have the highest level of autonomy, Level 5, which allows the car to steer itself in all circumstances. It will have Level 3, so-called "conditional automation," enabling the vehicle to drive autonomously on highways and in an emergency, pull over and bring itself to a standstill. Drivers must supervise the system and be ready to take back control.
"What we can guarantee as a worldwide offer will be a Level 3 system which will be very advanced, so for example on the motorway it will handle at least 130 kph (81 mph) and a lot of maneuvers that you do not discuss at the moment with Level 3 systems," Froehlich said.