With the race on to develop the first Level 3 autonomous vehicles for the mass market, the BMW Group is extending its collaboration with Ansys to speed forward its autonomous driving development.
The partners aim to create the world’s first end-to-end toolchain to test and validate advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving technology. With assistance from Ansys, BMW plans to speed up testing and reduce costs in order to introduce an L3 vehicle in the next five years.
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A history-making collaboration lives on
Ansysand the BMW Group first announced their collaboration in 2019, when autonomous cars were just a dream for most automakers. Now, with the L3 autonomous Honda Legend available for lease in Japan and BMW’s German rivals at Mercedes-Benz gaining international regulatory approval for the L3 Drive Pilot system, BMW’s dialing up the pressure.
Speed and scalability are at the core of this history-making collaboration. According to Ansys chief technology officer Prith Banerjee, “the automated tool chain uses real-time drive data and the scalability of Ansys simulation solutions to improve the accuracy and reliability of AV applications and remove perceived cost barriers to their development.”
With Ansys’s technology on its side, BMW plans to have a Level 3 autonomous vehicle by 2025.
What is Level 3 autonomous driving, anyway?
Why is BMW in such a hurry to create a Level 3 autonomous vehicle? Nicolai Martin, BMW’s Senior Vice President of Driving Experience, calls L3 autonomy “an opportunity to demonstrate our high level of technical innovation.” If BMW makes the ultimate driving machine, the future of the automotive industry demands that that machine have the ability to drive itself—at least sometimes.
That’s what Level 3 autonomy, or conditional autonomy, means. An L3 vehicle allows the driver to take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road under certain conditions, but not full-time. For instance, a future L3 BMW might be able to execute evasive maneuvers or even decide when to pass another car, but the driver still needs to be alert and able to take over if conditions change.
Scanning and creating a digital environment is key to Level 3 ADAS technology—and that’s what BMW and Ansys are working on right now.
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