BMW is reposting BMWi to focus on autonomous cars. That’s the news from Reuters Via BMW board member Klaus Froehlich, who is in charge of development. Mr. Froehlich said he had relaunched the i division in April as a unit devoted to producing cars that drive themselves.
“It is now in ramp-up stage. We call it Project i Next.”
Reuters also had this insight:
The revamp also follows at least four high-profile staff defections from the division this year. Dirk Abendroth, manager of BMW’s “i” powertrain group, Henrik Wenders, vice president product management BMW “i”, and Carsten Breitfeld, vice president engineering, head of the i8 vehicle program, were poached by a Chinese electric vehicle startup.
As part of its autonomous driving push, BMW is hiring experts in machine learning and artificial intelligence. It is also integrating the functions of existing computer driven assistance systems like cruise control, emergency braking, lane-keeping support and automatic parking.
It makes a lot of sense to us. As the general electrification of the BMW range has expanded, BMWi’s reason to be has been called into question. Focusing on autonomy and electrification pivots the sub-brand subtly into a space that seems like the future of mobility.