BMW will test self-driving automobiles in Munich next year as it looks to stay up to date with ride-hailing companies like Uber, which have invested billions on pay-per-use personal transport.
The German automaker will have around 40 automobiles with self-driving functions in Munich’s inner city then broaden the project to other cities, BMW executives stated on Friday.
“There is an experienced test driver behind the wheel of every vehicle,” Klaus Buettner, BMW’s Vice President in charge of Autonomous Driving stated.
Uber’s fast development has prompted BMW to consider how autonomous automobiles may help them sped up their own push into pay-per-use transport.
Software and innovation companies like Lyft, Juno and Uber have shocked the conventional auto market business model of selling vehicles by using customers an alternative to automobile ownership through smartphone-based ride-hailing services.
Now standard automobile business are broadening their own ride-hailing plans, while purchasing self-driving technology.
“Ride hailing is nothing more than manual self-driving,” Tony Douglas, Head of Strategy for BMW’s mobility services stated. “As soon as you do without the driver you have a license to print money.”
BMW has presently made significant progress expanding into the market for vehicle sharing by presenting pay-by-the-minute services like ReachNow in Seattle, Douglas informed.
“We had 14,000 people register in 4 days, in a market already served by Zipcar, Uber, Lyft and Car2go,” Douglas stated.
“Somebody else spent the cash to educate the marketplace and after that we came in with a cool product. We will not be the biggest, however we can be the coolest,” Douglas included.