Upcoming BMW Electric Crossover Will Have Level 3 Autonomy

3 months ago by Sebastian Blanco 11

BMW iNext Concept

BMW’s Vision NEXT 100 concept is nothing like an SUV, and it’s also nothing like a production car. But the concept’s appearance at the company’s Next 100 Years event in 2016 did get the rumormill up and running again about which plug-in vehicle will be the next to join the i3 and i8 in the BMWi line-up. At an event in Montreal focused on the company’s plug-in future, BMW representatives shared a little more information about the real iNext, or i5, or whatever it will be called (the name is not final at this point).

The most interesting tidbit is unfortunately not about the plug-in powertrain at all, but about the car’s autonomous functions. Kevin Marcotte, BMW’s national manager for BMWi in Canada, said that the car will have Level 3 autonomous abilities, a bit less impressive than what we heard a year ago. Level 3 means the driver can be “hands off, eyes off,” but needs to be ready to take over if the car alerts her to do so. He said that the iNext will be, “A major leap forward not only in terms of electrification, but also in technology. It will be the next big thing for us in terms of leapfrogging the industry.” A lot of new technologies will debut in that model, he said, without getting into specifics. He did say that the shape will be a Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV) or crossover, which is, “more in tune with North American demands.” We wonder what kind of vehicle it might compete with.

2017 BMW Plug-In Line-up

2017 BMW Plug-In Line-up, with i3, i8, MINI Countryman PHEV and iPerformance vehicles.

We already knew that the production version of the iNext will arrive in showrooms in 2021, as BMW confirmed again this week, and that there will be more plug-in goodness to come before that. In 2018, we will get the i8 Roadster, and an all-electric Mini EV is scheduled for 2019. There will be an X3 BEV in 2020 and, well, more, as you can see in the presentation slide image below.

BMW's Future EV Plans

BMW’s Future EV Plans, including i8 Roadster, X3 BEV, iNext, and more.

What those “new” models are, BMW isn’t saying, of course, but we’ll keep asking.

Source: BMW

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11 responses to "Upcoming BMW Electric Crossover Will Have Level 3 Autonomy"

  1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

    My cars are Level 3 autonomous, but they make me drive whenever the car’s in motion.

    I’ll be here all week…

    Level 3 Autonomous just means that the car has adaptive cruise and autosteer and that below a given speed and on a set of roads it’s quick enough at deciding that it _can’t_ handle the situation that it can warn the driver even if the driver isn’t paying attention.

    In other words, saying that it’s Level 3 by itself doesn’t mean jack.

    1. Sebastian Blanco says:

      Right, and this is BMW saying that its 2021 high-tech EV won’t be able to do much more than that.

    2. L'amata says:

      Upcoming BMW EV Crossover will look like a Bucky Beaver Face… lol… This is not a car to be taken seriously.

      1. William says:

        “Buckey Beaver Face”, will look absolutely gorgeous, next to the Nissan Leaf “CARappy Carp Fish-Face”, any day of the of the week!

        1. L'amata says:

          I Agree! 100%.But it’l still look like a Bucky Beaver Face Next to any Tesla.

    3. john doe says:

      Tesla offer level 2. . I’m sure they will make level 3 in a stort while too.
      The cars may need a few extra parts, and some new software. . That’s all.

      1. Jason says:

        So under the definition given, why is Tesla level 2 and not level 3? Is it because you have to have your hands on the wheel?
        Really, there will be no solution for a very long time where the vehicle will not have to ask for human assistance. Or do we think the vehicle coming to a complete stop when it does not know what to do is Ok? In that circumstance I am sure a human will take over and make the vehicle do what they would have done if they were in control.
        Can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

  2. MaartenV-nl says:

    Is this another VAG marketing stunt advertising a less capable than either Tesla AP or Nissan ProPilot as a lvl 3 (AKA the suicide level) system.

    Don’t these people have any responsibility?

    A system can handle ALL situations, and by definition is a lvl 4 system, or there are situations the driver has to take over. And without precognition, this taking over has to open in a split second in the worst case, making it a lvl 2 system.

    1. floydboy says:

      BMW’s not part of the Volkswagen group.

      1. MaartenV-nl says:

        I can only explain that mistake as a lack of sleep.

        But the rest of my comment stands.

  3. Tim Miser says:

    It would be a shame to see a car that looks like that be driving around autonomously at 10 mph under the speed limit as if my grandma was driving it.

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