Automotive manufacturers are rapidly being forced to diversify into becoming mobility providers and technology companies, but BMW assures that despite the push for more onboard technology, the steering wheel (or something along those lines) will always have a place in ‘the Ultimate Driving Machine’.
This seems contrary to the brand’s Strategy NEXT, a concept initially presented at BMW’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2016, where autonomous technology, along with electrification and digitisation were noted as instrumental parts of the future vision of driver assistance technology.
But despite this, BMW promises there will always be a place for the driver.
“We still have an excitement for driving”, said BMW AG Management Board Member Ian Robertson at the unveiling of the 2018 BMW Concept 8 Series coupe in Italy.
The revival of the 8 Series nameplate and the stylish grand tourer itself help support this statement, as does the continued growth of the M Performance sub-brand.
BMW has said the first vehicle to be developed under the NEXT strategy will be revealed in 2020, and while it will likely offer self-driving functions beyond the current parking and cruise control programs found on BMW models today, driving enjoyment is still important.
So if you are hanging out for a science-fiction style mobility pod (flying or not) with a blue and white roundel badge on the nose, you might just be waiting a long time.