BMW glaubt nicht an Akzeptanzprobleme von Autonomen Fahrzeugen beim Kunden.
2025AD: How has the significance of automated driving developed over the years at large car manufacturers like BMW? Dirk Wisselmann: The increasing automation of vehicle functions is inextricably tied to the development of cars. Therefore the introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), like parking distance control (PDC) or the radar based speed and distance control (ACC), in the nineties of the last century was a logic step. The enormous increase of the performance of these ADAS in the last years will now make the next step realizable – to give the driver the possibility to completely delegate the driving task to the car if he wants to do so. Fully automated driving also offers the chance to realize completely new mobility concepts with a high potential to optimize the traffic situation especially in urban areas. 2025AD: Surveys show that many consumers remain skeptical when it comes to driverless cars. How can OEMs tackle this issue? Wisselmann: If you ask „normal“ drivers, if they want to use a self-driving car, you are very often facing a high degree of skepticism, especially in Germany. The people are scared or irritated by the loss of control, the aspects of safety, the individual benefits and so on. In my experience, these negative arguments disappear once the drivers experience an autonomous car in real life. Then they are fascinated that the cars are already working very well, they develop trust in the new functionality very quickly and they acknowledge the positive aspects of comfort and safety. Therefore, I am sure that we will not have any acceptance problems with autonomous driving. The prerequisite is of course that the autonomous car is driving on a very high technical level. The reverse conclusion is also valid: a “bad” autonomous car confirms all prejudices and worsens the acceptance situation. Highly automated driving is a research focus of BMW. (Photo: BMW) 2025AD: Most consumers haven’t seen an autonomous vehicle on the road yet, let alone sat in one themselves. Some of your competitors like Volvo include average consumers in their testing efforts, hoping to increase acceptance. What is BMW’s stance on this? Wisselmann: The evaluation of new functionalities by normal customers to the earliest possible date is an integral part of the standard development process of BMW. The first evaluation usually starts in the driving simulator. In the next step, BMW invites customers to test drives on test and proving grounds and on public roads at a later stage of the development. All these activities are ongoing in an intensified mode today for the development of our highly and fully autonomous cars. An even broader field operational test would have to be discussed with respect to communication aspects.