The world’s leading maker of luxury cars using Autobahn thrills, also known as BMW, has decided to go the automated driving way as a way of embracing modernization and a total revamp of the motor vehicle. Their high end vehicles will soon allow drivers to sit back and let the car drive itself. The company said this in their latest statement issued as they celebrated 100 years since BMW’s foundation. This move will mean that the company will have to reposition, but on the other hand it is an opportunity to revolutionize the company.
The company’s CEO Mr. Harald Krueger said that leadership in the digital age will be different and that BMW will do what it has always done, which is reinventing itself.
The company is still into making cars that will enable the driver to be behind the wheels with full control. But at the same time they want to make cars that will allow drivers to face the front seat passenger and focus on conversation. The steering wheel will simply retract for common routes hence giving the driver more options. This move is seen to be a way of repositioning itself to combat challenges to its hegemony of being the top luxury car maker in the world since 2005.
Competition Forces BMW to Reinvent
Facing stiff competition from the second most popular luxury carmaker, Mercedes Benz, the company launched a vision dubbed Vision Next 100 to show the world that it can still innovate. In recent years its sales have gone down compared to that of Mercedes Benz. The vision includes interactive windscreens that can warn the driver of objects such as bicycles that are not within the drivers view.
These future cars will interact better with the outside world than what is currently available. For instance in a video, the company displayed how a light will be able to do what waving a pedestrian does at a crosswalk when it blinks green. The company says that this concept will be realized fully within the next 20-30 years.
This new vision is aimed atboosting BMW ahead of both Mercedes and Audi and will be showcased at a strategy review in a few days time. The concept car will be a key highlight at the event.
Companies Thinking of Ways to Modernize the car
Digitalization does not affect just BMW as companies are scratching their heads on how to go about incorporating the modern technological advancements into cars. Mercedes is also working on implemention of wide-ranging technological features and they already have a prototype of a self-driving truck on the road.
The last time BMW had a strategy shift was in 2007 and the then CEO focused on more sporty vehicles with reduced fuel consumption. They produced their first electric car and became the pioneers in the use of carbon fiber in large scale. The current CEO is facing challenges not just from major carmakers but from tech companies such as Google and Apple. The nature of competition seems to have changed for the automobile maker.
The concept of self-driven cars has been discussed for a long time, but as BMW puts it, it is not far from becoming a total reality since in the future people will be able to move around on robots on wheels. BMW understands that if they don’t make a quantum leap in the use of technology, they will be quickly left far behind by its competitors.