Even if it's not required for the operation of the vehicle, a steering wheel will still be a part of BMWs cars
Jim Holder
11 December 2017

BMWs will have a steering wheel and driver controls for the foreseeable future – even when fully autonomous, according to Robert Irlinger, boss of the firm’s i division. 

Other car companies, most notably Volkswagen with its Sedric concept, view their vehicles of the future without any driver controls. However, Irlinger said BMW’s focus will always be on personal mobility and that it will continue to build cars for drivers to enjoy. 

“We are an emotional brand, so it is important to us still to give the owner the opportunity to drive their car,” said Irlinger. “By giving the driver the choice, then they can have the best of both worlds – the convenience of autonomy when they want it or the opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of driving when it suits them. 

“This is not a decision that has to impact on the comfort of the cabin or detract in any way from either side of the equation; we can have driver controls that are there when you want them and which can retract when they are not required.” 

Asked if he could ever imagine a BMW being sold without driver controls, Irlinger replied: “Maybe one day, but it is not our goal. 

“As a company, we are about personal mobility, not selling robotised taxis. Maybe there will be specific circumstances where that might change, but I cannot imagine them today.” 

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Comments
14

11 December 2017

I predict that in the future cars with the option of driver control will carry an insurance premium over cars which are fully autonomous. 

11 December 2017

You only need one sensor, one small part of the automous system to fail for it not to be able to give a full 'required' picture of the outside world and you are shafted.

11 December 2017

@conbapint  - everytime you press the brake pedal in your current car you are relying on dozens of brake pistons, connections, tubes, hoses, sensors, controls units etc all working to avoid death.  You've just got used to them that's all.  Last time you flew none of the controls in the cockpit actually physically linked to the control surfaces....  Just a thought!

 

 

 

11 December 2017

Pause, let's wait till a 'true' automous car is about to be made before we have another day with 5 Automous articles about what 2050 will bring.

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

11 December 2017

To get the true safety and traffic-flow advantages of autonomy, on most roads, autonomy will have to be compulsory. Once cars start driving closer together and faster and we do away with traffic lights etc, human drivers won't stand a chance and simply won't be allowed. I think this will begin on motorways and in city centres. But it will leave plenty of roads where autonomy will be optional for people who want to experience the old-fashioned way of doing things, though the car will still need to prevent the driver doing something fatally stupid.

12 December 2017
androo wrote:

To get the true safety and traffic-flow advantages of autonomy, on most roads, autonomy will have to be compulsory. Once cars start driving closer together and faster and we do away with traffic lights etc, human drivers won't stand a chance and simply won't be allowed. I think this will begin on motorways and in city centres. But it will leave plenty of roads where autonomy will be optional for people who want to experience the old-fashioned way of doing things, though the car will still need to prevent the driver doing something fatally stupid.

They won't drive faster, even on autonomous only roads. Air quality regulations will see to that.

They won't be able to drive any closer together either. Braking systems have their limits, and you still have to allow for CPU electronic reaction/computing time (if the sensors aren't covered in road salt, grime and shit - see any motorway this week) should one of the AVs in the convoy fail or has its kill switch activated by the driver.

These things may work on the test tracks in Japan, or the wide pristine highways if California, but give it double roundabout in Nottingham with a knob head on a moped coming up the inside and a mum with her kid that's just stepped out trying to get to school, in the pouring rain, in the dark and the things will either cock up or freeze on the spot.

11 December 2017

The wheel offers security even if it’s not used because you know at least if something goes wrong you have a chance of avoiding or minimising the scale of the accident.

Peter Cavellini.

11 December 2017

Offers somewhere to put the airbag, which, you'll need everytime the system gets it wrong

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

11 December 2017

BMW says autonomous cars mustn’t sideline drivers...?

11 December 2017

The average new BMW buyer in Europe is 54 (and not likely to change their habits). They are just appealling to their target market.  The future market (teens now) have almost zero interest in cars as a fun item.  I mean, since they've been in cars we've had 50mph average cameras on motorways, many A roads now set at 40mph... so seriously - what's the point in driving yourself and getting bored?  Might as well let the car do it while you sit back with another artisan Gin and Tonic.....

 

 

 

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