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Brief Published: 14 Sep 2011

BMW's Driverless Car


German automotive manufacturer BMW is testing an autonomous driving system in one of its 5-Series car models.

The ‘intelligent’ vehicle uses a combination of radar, ultrasound, video and highly detailed GPS maps to sense the vehicle's position in relation to its surroundings. 

The autonomous sedan is the result of BMW's partnership with the German government's SmartSenior Initiative. Technology developed through this programme is aimed at detecting situations where drivers are unable to drive due to a medical emergency. If a situation was detected, systems would automatically take control of the vehicle and pull it over to the hard shoulder.

Other automotive companies including Audi are also actively researching similar autonomous driving systems.