Watch These BMW i3s Self-Drive In Netherlands


Goes far beyond “no hands.”

Elon Musk may have just predicted Tesla will have full self-driving capability by the end of 2020, but other cars are already operating while driverless. At least, in a limited fashion. As you can see in the video above, a Dutch outfit called Amber, using the BMW i3 as a platform, is driving cars without drivers. Technically, these are not autonomous vehicles since they are platooning — following a single lead vehicle. Still, it is interesting and impressive to watch.

Amber operates an electric car-sharing service. In order to make sure its customers have their reserved car available, it has to shuttle vehicles to its various hubs. What this technology will allow them to do — it’s still in the testing phase — is to have one driver move several cars at the same time. With help from the city of Eindhoven and Smartwayz, they’ve started testing in bus lanes at night.

It is not clear exactly how the system operates. In the video, we see that the following cars perform the same turning moves as the lead vehicle, but it seems they can’t yet drive independently. Once the autonomous tech is more developed, we expect vehicles will be able to drive themselves to staging points without the need to follow a leader. On highways, however, driving in formation could be valuable as it would allow vehicles to follow more closely than what is now safe, thereby conserving energy.

Amber currently has 140 cars in its fleet, which are shared among 2,525 users. We have embedded a second video below featuring Joep Sloot, the person responsible for conducting this testing, explaining more about the program. It is in Dutch, but does have English subtitles. Enjoy!

Source: Amber

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5 Comments on "Watch These BMW i3s Self-Drive In Netherlands"

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Progress, of a sort. Surprised that the following vehicles aren’t closer together. I3 ACC is fairly good when it’s working, but traditionally somewhat subject to drop outs. Presumably that has been addressed, and lane keeping added.

Can you divert one by cutting in front of it and then driving away? or it will still follow the original leader?

Kind of weird how easy it is to understand Dutch, when you know English, German and Norwegian.
The platooning part is btw kind of cool. Just drive in the slow truck lane, and connect to a truck heading in the same direction, and just go to sleep. . . as long as the car also knows when to brake if the truck driver fall asleep, or do some weird stuff.

Just another Load Of BS If I’ve Ever seen One ! It’s a Poor excuse BS system.. * 🙁

Oh yeah… platooning… the next step in the quest to full self driving capability and accomplished first with BMW.