BMW will launch a prototype fleet of self-driving cars in cities in the US and Europe in the second half of 2017, as the German luxury car maker develops production-ready autonomous vehicles for launch by 2021.
BMW did not specify the level of self-driving features the fleet of 40 7-series sedans will feature but said the main purpose of the test fleet will be to collect data.
BMW plans to use the data to develop its fully autonomous iNext flagship vehicle with its partners Mobileye and Intel and which is slated for launch in 2021 .
Carmakers and their partners are aggressively seeking to keep up with industry disrupters Google and Tesla. So far, Alphabet's Google has autonomously driven two million miles on public roads, while Tesla has collected data from the 1.3 billion miles driven with its Autopilot feature.