The collaboration between auto industry and cutting edge technology has brought the century-old BMW another opportunity for historic growth.
BMW, which is not content to be a high-end automobile manufacturer and service provider, puts more emphasis on its new strategic positioning as “a mobility tech company”.
On April 17, the BMW Group Digital Day 2018 was held in Munich. This is the first time that BMW has unveiled its Digital Day to media, also the first time to intensively demonstrate its multiple achievements in digitalization and group digital transformation since the ACES (Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services) strategy was launched.
Since the ACES “NUMBER ONE > NEXT” strategy was introduced in 2017, the BMW Group has started a top-down revolution in the digitalization of design, manufacturing, customer experience and mobility solutions.
At BMW headquarters in Munich, directors of R&D and design departments elaborated the technological concepts and processes of Mix reality (MR), 3D printing, and new-generation human-computer interaction to suppliers, customers and media outlets from all over the world.
Autonomous driving is a highlight
BMW carries out parallel development of cutting edge technologies including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and real-time hazard warning system for autonomous driving.
In order to realize efficient and stable transmission between vehicle-mounted and autonomous driving data, BMW Group is developing the fifth-generation (5G) mobile network, which transfers data several times faster than 4G, with the delay to be shortened to one millisecond.
A BMW 5G-network development engineer repeatedly stressed in his presentation that the greatest value of 5G networks to telematics lies in its reliable fast data transfer rate and stability.
“5G-based system and data transmission technologies are expected to become commercially available on series-produced vehicles as early as 2020, the next key point of the BMW Group’s strategy.”
At the event, the engineer demonstrated how 5G mobile networks improves customer experience.
AI plays an important role in BMW autonomous driving. It can accurately analyze and predict the current and upcoming traffic situation through specific computational models by effectively classifying and evaluating the collected data. During the process, the algorithms will be constantly self-optimized and assist the driver to safely cope with complex road conditions.
BMW's progress in AI became a highlight of Digital Day 2018. At the same time when the ACES “NUMBER ONE > NEXT” strategy was announced in 2017, the BMW Group began cooperation with Mobileye, an advanced image recognition service provider.
TMTpost learns at Digital Day 2018 that BMW is independently developing AI algorithms while comparing those provided by Mobileye, so as to seek the most optimized solutions for autonomous driving.
At Digital Day 2018, Klaus Fröhlich evaluated the forthcoming autonomous driving and vehicle sharing. He said
Future competition in commercialized autonomous driving is actually the fight for parking rights.
Market value of China becomes prominent
The BMW Group has made frequent moves in sharing mobility in recent years. With respect to mobility services integration between the BMW Group and Daimler AG, Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of the BMW Group, said, “The cooperation indicates BMW’s sharp response to market changes.”
BMW, which has been paying close attention to the Chinese and American markets, had already been aware of the fast changes in these two countries’ Internet industries, “we must join hands to cope with the changes,” Schwarzenbauer said.
Head of BMW China said at 2017 CES Asia, “the technologies involved in the ACES Strategy cannot be independently developed by a certain company. BMW will cooperate with top enterprises in the industry to build an ecosystem.”
For instance, BMW's joint investment in HD navigation maps with Here, and its collaboration with Mobileye and Intel in sensors and chips.
In addition, Contemporary Amperex Technology, a leading high-tension battery manufacturer for electric vehicles, has become a very important part in BMW’s entire supplier system.
Connected Vehicle Solutions in China published by consulting firm Accenture surveyed 14,195 consumers from 12 countries including China.
The survey results show that Chinese car owners show the strongest interest in telematics technologies compared with the interviewees from other countries. The Chinese consumers are more interested about the in-car technologies rather than engine performance when they purchase vehicles.
In China, BMW has established cooperation with some IT firms such as Baidu and Tencent. Unfortunately, some innovative technologies introduced by BMW based on telematics such as Hazard warning still have not been introduced to Chinese consumers.
In the future, the significance of Chinese market with millions of BMW owners will become prominent. China is poised to become an important strategic place for BMW to develop its premium mobility ecosystem.
The article is edited by @Yi LIU (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Mobile/WeChat: +86 13911703028). The Chinese version article is published with authorization from the author @YangJin, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.