BMW Group expands e-drive production network: Start of battery component production in Leipzig and Regensburg

BMW:BMW Group expands e-drive production network: Start of battery component production in Leipzig and Regensburg

  • BMW Group now producing high-voltage batteries and
    battery
    components at three locations in Germany alone:
    Dingolfing,
    Leipzig and Regensburg
  • Less than a year from decision to start of production in

    Leipzig and Regensburg
  • Production of battery components for BMW Group’s fifth generation
    of fully-electric vehicles

 

Munich/Leipzig/Regensburg. The BMW Group is launching
production of battery components at its plants in Leipzig and
Regensburg and expanding its e-drive production network. It has been
less than a year since the decision was made to expand production
capacity for e-drives in Germany. BMW Group Plant Leipzig will launch
series production of battery modules on Monday, 3 May 2021, while BMW
Group Plant Regensburg began coating battery cells for high-voltage
batteries in April 2021. High-voltage batteries will also be produced
in Regensburg from 2022. “We expect at least 50 percent of the
vehicles we deliver to our customers worldwide to be fully electric by
2030,” said Michael Nikolaides, Senior Vice President Production
Engines and E-Drives. “And we are systematically expanding our
production network for electric drive trains in response to this.”

The company is investing more than 250 million euros in its
Regensburg and Leipzig locations alone to supply the BMW Group’s
growing number of electrified vehicles with high-voltage batteries.
High-voltage battery components will be used in production of the BMW
iX* and BMW i4, both of which will be released onto the market
shortly. The production systems are highly flexible and will also
supply battery components for other BMW Group electrified vehicles in
the future.

“We are increasing capacity at existing locations and developing
capabilities at others. In this way, we can make the most of our
associates’ expertise and experience and offer them long-term, secure
jobs,” Nikolaides added. The BMW Group is investing a total of around
790 million euros in expanding production capacity for drivetrain
components for electrified vehicles at its Dingolfing, Leipzig,
Regensburg and Steyr locations between 2020 and 2022.



Production of battery modules at BMW Group Plant Leipzig

Leipzig is the BMW Group’s pioneer plant for electromobility and has
been building the BMW Group’s first fully-electric vehicle, the BMW
i3*, since 2013. Now, the location will also produce electric
drivetrain components.

“We are continuing on this track with the launch of battery module
production and further enhancing the plant’s future viability for
electromobility,” confirmed Hans-Peter Kemser, Plant Director of BMW
Group Plant Leipzig. “Plant Leipzig will play an important role in
supplying the growing number of BMW Group electrified vehicles with
battery components.” The successor to the MINI Countryman, scheduled
to come off the production line in Leipzig from 2023, will be released
onto the market with an electric drive train. “The expertise and
experience gained by staff at our location over the years can be put
to good use. Construction of the battery module lines will make a
major contribution to long-term job security,” emphasised Kemser.

From May 2021, the 10,000 sq. m. production area previously reserved
for the BMW i8 will be used for manufacturing battery modules.
Production will get underway with 80 employees working in battery
module production; by the end of the year, there will be a staff of
around 150. The company will invest more than 100 million euros in the
initial phase of battery module production at the Leipzig location
between 2020 and 2022.

However, the production line for battery modules that just ramped up
is only the beginning: The company has already decided to further
increase capacity for battery module production at its Leipzig
location. A second production line will come on stream in 2022. This
will ensure the company has sufficient volumes to meet growing demand
for drivetrains.



Production of battery components and high-voltage
batteries at BMW Group Plant Regensburg

BMW Group Plant Regensburg already produces two electrified models –
plug-in hybrid variants of the BMW X1* and BMW X2* – and will start
building the fully-electric BMW X1 in 2022. The site’s e-mobility
expertise and experience will now also be used in production of
battery components and high-voltage batteries.

The first of four coating lines for fifth-generation battery cells
went on stream in April 2021, occupying a production and logistics
area of more than 40,000 sq. m. “Regensburg has made a successful
start to production of electric drivetrain components – this is an
important milestone in our transformation,” according to Frank
Bachmann, Plant Director of BMW Group Plant Regensburg. The three
other systems will ramp up in stages between now and the end of 2021
to supply the growing volumes needed for the BMW Group’s fully
electric vehicles. Up until now, battery cells have been coated at BMW
Group Plant Dingolfing and the BMW Brilliance Automotive Plant
Powertrain in Shenyang, China.

Coating increases the battery cell’s mechanical robustness and
thermal conductivity. This helps improve insulation and cooling of the
fifth-generation e-drive’s even more powerful battery cells. From
2022, the plant in Regensburg will produce high-voltage batteries from
battery modules. A total of 100 employees already work in battery
component production at the Regensburg site; by the end of 2022, there
will be more than 300. The company will invest more than 150 million
euros in ramping up production of battery components and high-voltage
batteries between 2020 and 2022.

Holistic approach to sustainability

The BMW Group has a clear mission to ensure the “greenest electric
vehicle comes from the BMW Group”, starting in production. The BMW
Group already sources only green power for its manufacturing locations worldwide.

The BMW Group’s energy goals are geared towards the long term. The
company reduced its emissions per vehicle produced by more than 70
percent between 2019 and 2006.The aim is to lower these CO2 emissions
by another 80 percent by 2030. This means the BMW Group will have
reduced its CO2 emissions from production to less than ten percent of
what they were in 2006.

A further corporate objective is to reduce CO2 emissions in the
supplier network by 20 percent by 2030. At the same time, the BMW
Group has reached an agreement with its suppliers that they will only
use renewable green power for producing fifth-generation battery
cells.


From battery cell to high-voltage battery

Production of high-voltage batteries can be broken down into two
stages: Battery modules are produced in a highly automated process.
The lithium-ion cells first undergo a plasma cleaning, before a
specially developed system coats the cells to ensure optimal
insulation. Next, the battery cells are assembled into a larger unit,
the so-called battery module. The BMW Group obtains its battery cells
from partners who produce them to the company’s exact specifications.
The BMW Group uses different battery cells, depending on which
provides the best properties for each vehicle concept.

The battery modules are then installed in an aluminium housing,
together with the connections to the vehicle, and the control and
cooling units. The size and shape of the aluminium housing and the
number of battery modules used differ according to the vehicle
variant. This ensures the high-voltage battery is optimally adjusted
to the vehicle.

Global e-drive production network focused in Germany

The high-voltage batteries and battery components needed for all BMW
and MINI electrified vehicles come from the company’s own battery
factories in Dingolfing, Leipzig and Regensburg in Germany, as well as
from Spartanburg (USA) and Shenyang (China). The BMW Group has also
localised production of high-voltage batteries in Thailand, at its
Rayong plant, and is working with the Dräxlmaier Group for this.
Munich is home to the e-drive pilot plant and the Battery Cell
Competence Centre, where the BMW Group is conducting a full analysis
of battery cell value creation processes and refining technology for
its production processes.

The company produces electric motors at the Competence Centre for
E-Drive Production in Dingolfing and at BMW Group Plant Landshut. BMW
Group Plant Steyr builds the housing for the highly integrated
fifth-generation e-drive.

With the BMW Group’s electro-offensive now in full swing, increased
production capacity is needed for electric drivetrain components.
Thanks to intelligent vehicle architectures and a highly flexible
production network, the BMW Group will have about a dozen
fully-electric models on the roads from 2023. The BMW i3*, MINI Cooper
SE* and BMW iX3* already on the market will be joined later this year
by the BMW iX* and BMW i4. Between now and 2025, the BMW Group will
increase its sales of fully-electric models by an average of well over
50 percent per year – more than ten times the number of units sold in
2020. By the end of 2025, the company will have delivered a total of
around two million fully-electric vehicles to customers. Based on
current market forecasts, the BMW Group expects at least 50 percent of
its global sales to come from fully-electric vehicles in 2030. In
total, over the next ten years or so, the company will release about
ten million fully-electric vehicles onto the roads.

This means the BMW Group is strategically on track to reach the
European Union’s ambitious CO2 reduction targets for 2025 and 2030 as well.

BMW
i3: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; power
consumption combined: 16.3-15.3 kWh/100 km WLTP; CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

BMW
i3s: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km; power
consumption combined: 16.6-16.3 kWh/100 km WLTP; CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

MINI Cooper SE: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100
km; power consumption combined: 17.6-15.2 kWh/100 km WLTP,
CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km

BMW iX3: Fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km;
power consumption combined: 17.8-17.5 kWh/100 km WLTP, CO2
emissions combined: 0 g/km.

BMW iX xDrive50: Power consumption combined: < 21 kWh/100 km in the WLTP test cycle; CO2 emissions combined:
0 g/km (data is provisional and based on forecasts)

BMW iX xDrive40: Power consumption combined: < 20 kWh/100 km in the WLTP test cycle; CO2 emissions combined:
0 g/km (data is provisional and based on forecasts)

BMW X1 xDrive25e: Fuel consumption combined: 1.9-1.7
l/100 km WLTP, power consumption combined: 15.4-15.0 kWh/100 km WLTP;
CO2 emissions combined: 43 g/km. 

BMW X2 xDrive25e: Fuel consumption combined: 1.9
l/100 km WLTP; power consumption combined: 13.7 kWh/100 km WLTP,
CO2 emissions combined: 43 g/km. 

Original Press Release

BMW Group paves the way for production network of the future

BMW:BMW Group paves the way for production network of the future

Systematic transformation towards electromobility +++ Investment of
400 million euros in new assembly for plant in Munich +++ Fixed
costs reduced by 500 million euros +++ New cluster vehicle
architecture from mid-decade on +++ Smart management of plant
capacity strengthens competitiveness

Munich. The BMW Group is speeding up the shift
towards electromobility and strengthening its global network for
production of electrified vehicles. The company is investing 400
million euros in a new vehicle assembly at the main plant in Munich
and concentrating its European production activities for internal
combustion engines at the Steyr and Hams Hall locations. “We are
systematically implementing our electrification strategy. By the end
of 2022, each of our German plants will be producing at least one
fully electric vehicle,” according to Milan Nedeljković, member of the
Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Production.

The BMW Group has one of the automotive industry’s most flexible
production systems worldwide. “We are capable of producing both
vehicles with combustion engines and electric drive trains on a single
line and responding flexibly to customer requests,” said Nedeljković:
“This is a crucial success factor.” Nedeljković has been in charge of
the Production Division for just over a year. “During the Covid-19
crisis, we have proved that we can respond swiftly and effectively to
even highly volatile market developments and, at the same time,
permanently improve our cost structure,” underlined the Production
head. “The progress made this year will reduce our fixed costs by
about half a billion euros by the end of the coming year.

Construction of new vehicle assembly at Plant Munich

The BMW Group is systematically gearing its main plant in Munich
towards the future. Following the expansion of the body shop and
construction of a new resource-efficient paint shop between 2016 and
2018, the company will be investing around 400 million euros in a new
vehicle assembly between now and 2026. “We are continually developing
Plant Munich towards electromobility and creating efficient and
competitive production structures for this purpose,” explained
Nedeljković. “This decision signals our strong commitment to the
Munich location.”

Manfred Schoch, Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Chairman
of the European and General Works Council of BMW AG: “The decision to
build a new assembly at our almost 100-year-old Munich plant shows
that transformation can secure, and even create, industrial jobs in
the heart of the city – if it is approached strategically, and with
courage. This decision provides a model for successful transformation
in the German industry.”

The future assembly and its production processes will be designed for
a new cluster architecture geared towards electric drive trains.
Nedeljković: “This architecture will be in use from the middle of the
decade. It will ramp up for the first time at our future plant in
Debrecen, Hungary, before being rolled out across our global
production network in stages.”

The new assembly in Munich will be built on the site currently used
for engine production. The combustion engines with four, six, eight
and 12 cylinders produced there will be manufactured at the company’s
locations in Steyr in Austria and Hams Hall in the UK going forward.
“Restructuring our engine production network is a strategic move
geared towards the future. We are also boosting our efficiency and
optimising our capacity utilisation,” explained Nedeljković.

Engine production will be relocated from
Munich in stages by no later than 2024.

The employees will go on to work in different planning and production
areas at the Munich location or other sites in Bavaria. At its
Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in Dingolfing alone, the
company will increase employee numbers from 1,000 currently to up to
2,000. “The transformation of our plants and securing future jobs go
hand in hand,” underlined Ilka Horstmeier, member of the Board of
Management of BMW AG responsible for Human Resources, with regard to
the upcoming structural changes in engine production. “Here in Munich,
we will prove once again that the BMW workforce can handle change. Our
employees will receive intensive support and training throughout this
process.” More than 50,000 people at BMW Group have already been
trained for electromobility since 2009.

Transformation towards electromobility

The realignment of the production network is based on three
priorities: transformation towards electromobility and digitalisation;
efficiency of processes and structures; and sustainability in
production and logistics. The expansion of electromobility in the
production network continues. Our Chinese plant in Dadong also began
producing the BMW iX3* this year. “By the end of 2022, all German
plants will have at least one fully-electric vehicle in their
programme,” underlined Nedeljković. From next year, the BMW i4 and
BMW iX* will come off the production lines in Munich and Dingolfing
respectively. Fully-electric variants of the new BMW 7 Series and the
future BMW 5 Series are also ready to go in Dingolfing. Plant
Regensburg will also start manufacturing the new BMW X1 in 2022, which
will be available both with an combustion engine and a fully-electric
drive train. From 2023, BMW Group Plant Leipzig, which has built the
iconic BMW i3* electric car since 2013, will produce the successor to
the MINI Countryman, with a combustion engine and as a fully-electric variant.

At the same time, the BMW Group is expanding its capacity for
manufacturing electric drive trains. The company is investing in
production equipment for highly integrated e-drives and high-voltage
batteries at the Competence Centre for E-Drive Production in
Dingolfing. The Leipzig and Regensburg locations are also currently
setting up equipment for production of battery modules and
high-voltage batteries from 2021. In parallel, the company is also
increasing production capacity for e-drive housings at Plant Steyr.

“Allocating capacity in this way places a deliberate emphasis on the
flexibility of our plants and makes them more efficient and more
competitive. Long-term agreements with employee representatives also
play an important part in this,” added Nedeljković.

Sustainability in production

The BMW Group has reduced resource consumption and CO2
emissions in vehicle production by 50 percent since 2006 – which is
much more than other European manufacturers. The amount of
CO2 generated per vehicle will be reduced by another 40
percent from 2019 levels by 2025 and 80 percent by 2030.
“Sustainability is a fundamental aspect of modern production,”
underlined Milan Nedeljković, adding: “By the end of this year, our
plants worldwide will obtain their electricity exclusively, 100
percent, from renewable energy sources.” To do so they will take
advantage of the best options at each location – from solar energy in
Oxford, Mexico and China, to biogas in South Africa, to wind power in Leipzig. 

In addition to using renewable energies, water, solvent, gas and
electricity consumption will be further reduced in parallel. For
example, the company is using data analytics to minimise machines’
power consumption. The amount of waste per vehicle is also
continuously decreasing, making the BMW Group one of the world’s most
sustainable automotive manufacturers. The BMW Group’s position as
sector leader in the “Automobiles” category of the Dow Jones
Sustainability Indices World and Europe, announced just a few days
ago, underlines this.

*) Consumption/emissions data:

BMW i3: fuel consumption combined: 0,0 l/100 km;
power consumption combined: 13,1 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km

BMW iX3: fuel consumption combined: 0.0 l/100 km;
power consumption combined: 17.8-17.5 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions
combined 0 g/km

BMW iX: fuel consumption combined: 0,0 l/100 km;
power consumption combined: < 21 kWh/100km in the WLTP test cycle*; CO2 emissions combined: 0 g/km. Data are preliminary and based on forecasts.

Original Press Release

Seven principles for AI: BMW Group sets out code of ethics for the use of artificial intelligence.

BMW:Seven principles for AI: BMW Group sets out code of ethics for the use of artificial intelligence.

Munich. The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is a
central element of the digital transformation process at the BMW
Group. The BMW Group already uses AI throughout the value chain to
generate added value for customers, products, employees and processes.

Michael Würtenberger, Head of “Project AI”: “Artificial intelligence
is the key technology in the process of digital transformation. But
for us the focus remains on people. AI supports our employees and
improves the customer experience. We are proceeding purposefully and
with caution in the expansion of AI applications within the company.
The seven principles for AI at the BMW Group provide the basis for our approach.”

The BMW Group continues to follow global developments in terms of
both technological innovations and regulatory and ethical issues.
Together with other companies and organisations, the BMW Group is
involved in shaping and developing a set of rules for working with AI,
and the company has taken an active role in the European Commission’s
ongoing consultation process.

Building on the fundamental requirements formulated by the EU for
trustworthy AI, the BMW Group has worked out seven basic principles
covering the use of AI within the company. These will be continuously
refined and adapted as required according to the multi-layered
application of AI across all areas of the company. In this way, the
BMW Group will pave the way for extending the use of AI and increase
awareness among its employees of the need for sensitivity when working
with AI technologies.

 Seven principles for AI at the BMW Group. (10/2020)

Seven principles covering the development and application of
artificial intelligence at the BMW Group:

  • Human agency and oversight.
    The BMW Group
    implements appropriate human monitoring of decisions made by AI
    applications and considers possible ways that humans can overrule
    algorithmic decisions.
  • Technical robustness and safety.
    The BMW
    Group aims to develop robust AI applications and observes the
    applicable safety standards designed to decrease the risk of
    unintended consequences and errors.
  • Privacy and data governance.

    The BMW Group extends its state-of-the-art data privacy and
    data security measures to cover storage and processing in AI applications.
  • Transparency.

    The BMW Group aims for explainability of AI applications and
    open communication where respective technologies are used.
  • Diversity, non-discrimination and fairness.

    The BMW Group respects human dignity and therefore sets out to
    build fair AI applications. This includes preventing non-compliance
    by AI applications.
  • Environmental and societal well-being.
    The
    BMW Group is committed to developing and using AI applications that
    promote the well-being of customers, employees and partners. This
    aligns with the BMW Group’s goals in the areas of human rights and
    sustainability, which includes climate change and environmental protection.
  • Accountability.

    The BMW Group’s AI applications should be implemented so they
    work responsibly. The BMW Group will identify, assess, report and
    mitigate risks, in accordance with good corporate governance.

Overall centre of competence for the company: “Project
AI”.
“Project AI” was launched in 2018 to ensure that AI
technologies are used ethically and efficiently. As the BMW Group’s
centre of competence for data analytics and machine learning, it
ensures rapid knowledge and technology sharing across the company.
Project AI therefore plays a key role in the ongoing process of
digital transformation at the BMW Group and supports the efficient
development and scaling of smart data and AI technologies. One of the
developments to come out of Project AI is a portfolio tool which
creates transparency in the company-wide application of technologies
making data-driven decisions. This D³ (Data Driven Decisions) portfolio
currently spans 400 use cases, of which more than 50 are available for
regular operation.

 

WHERE IS THE BMW GROUP ALREADY USING AI?
USE CASES FROM
DIFFERENT AREAS OF THE COMPANY.

The following examples show that Project AI pushes the BMW Group
forward with AI focused, company-wide networking and knowledge
transfer. The fundamentally identical technology forms of AI can
generate added value for customers, employees and business processes.
For example, the customer benefits from natural language processing
(NLP) with the Intelligent Personal Assistant directly in the vehicle
and employees are supported with translation tools and
context-processing assistants in administrative processes. Intelligent
data analysis and machine learning are used to optimise energy
management both in buildings and in vehicles. And image processing AI
relieves both the customer with driver assistance systems from
monotonous driving tasks and employees in production from monotonous
processing steps.

E
XAMPLES FROM RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT.

AI-based energy management in vehicles.
A
vehicle contains a large number of electric consumers, such as seat
heating, the entertainment system, the air conditioning, etc. In many
cases, the driver is not aware that using these consumers also has an
effect on CO2 emissions and/or the range of the vehicle. AI
experts at the BMW Group are conducting R&D work on AI-based
software for in-vehicle energy management. Taking user behaviour and
route information as a basis, the system learns how to adjust energy
consumption in the car as effectively as possible to the driver’s
requirements and the need for energy efficiency. In this way,
CO2 emissions can be reduced, energy saved and operating
range increased.

Acoustic analytics: sensory enhancement in the sensor model
for automated driving functions.
The BMW Group is
taking an all-encompassing approach to monitoring the vehicle
environment. One of the areas the company is exploring to this end is
how acoustic signal processing can be added to the AI sensor fusion.
Incorporating auditory perception can have benefits for urban
scenarios, in particular, going forward.

AI in requirements management.

At the BMW Group there are over 33,000 requirement specification
documents containing more than 30 million individual requirements for
vehicles, components and characteristics. That’s an enormous amount of
data. AI technologies can help employees to process large quantities
of data more quickly and carefully. Here, an application has been
developed which uses natural language processing methods to improve
the quality and analysis of individual requirements in specification
documents. The web-based tool allows thousands of requirements to be
automatically translated and checked – in real time – for linguistic
quality, similarity and consistency.

EXAMPLES FROM SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT AND LOGISTICS.

Integrating AI with facility and robot control systems.


The first smart AI control application at the BMW
Group celebrated its premiere at the BMW Group’s Steyr plant. This
application speeds up logistics processes by preventing the
unnecessary transport of empty containers on conveyor belts. To this
end, the containers pass through a camera station. Using stored image
data marked by employees, the AI application recognises if a container
needs to be lashed onto a pallet or whether – in the case of large,
stable boxes – no additional securing is required. If no lashing is
required, the AI application directs a container by the shortest route
to the removal station for the forklift truck.

Besides the application in Steyr, AI can be found in numerous other
logistics
innovations
at the BMW Group. It also supports virtual layout
planning, which creates high-resolution 3D scans of buildings and
factories. AI ultimately contributes to the recognition of individual
objects in the 3D scans, such as containers, building structures and
machines. In this way, robotics applications out-perform the
technology used previously in their coordination skills and ability to
recognise people and objects. Navigation improvements enable obstacles
such as forklift trucks, tugger trains and employees to be detected
more quickly and clearly, and alternative routes to be calculated
within milliseconds. The AI-based technology helps the robotics
applications to learn and apply different reactions to people and
objects.  

 

EXAMPLES FROM PRODUCTION.

Since 2018, the BMW Group has been using various AI applications in
series production. One focus is automated image recognition: In these
processes, AI evaluates component images in ongoing production and
compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same
sequence. This way, the AI application determines deviations from the
standard in real time and checks, for instance, whether all required
parts have been mounted and whether they are mounted in the right
place. At the BMW Group, flexible, cost-effective, AI-based
applications are gradually replacing permanently installed camera
portals. Implementation is comparatively simple. A mobile standard
camera is all that is needed to take the relevant pictures in the
production hall. The AI solution can be set up quickly too. Employees
take pictures of the component from different angles and mark
potential deviations on the images. This way, they create an image
database in order to build a neural network, which can later evaluate
the images without human intervention.

Name plate checks.
In the final inspection area
at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant, an AI application compares the
vehicle order data with a live image of the newly produced car’s model
badge. Model designation badges and other identification plates (such
as “xDrive” for all-wheel drive vehicles and all generally approved
combinations) are stored in the image database. If the live image and
order data don’t correspond – if a designation is missing, for example
– the final inspection team receives a notification. You can find more
information here.

Dust particle analysis in the paint shop.

AI can control the operation of highly sensitive automotive
production equipment even more precisely, as a pilot project in the
paint shop at the BMW Group’s Munich plant has shown. If levels of
dust increase due to the time of year or a sustained dry period, the
algorithm picks up on the trend at an early stage and brings forward
the timing of a filter change, for example. Working in conjunction
with other analysis tools, additional patterns can be recognised.
Another result of the analysis might be that fine adjustments need to
be made to the machine using ostrich feathers to remove dust particles
from the car body. The BMW Group’s AI experts see great potential in
dust particle analysis. Supplied with information from numerous
sensors and data from surface inspection, the algorithm monitors more
than 160 features of the body and can predict the quality of a paint
application with great accuracy. You can find more information here.

AI control application in the press shop reliably prevents pseudo-defects.


At the press shop, flat sheet metal parts are turned
into high-precision components for the car body. Dust particles or oil
residues that remain on the components after forming can easily be
confused with very fine cracks, which occur in rare cases during the
process. Previous camera-based quality control systems at the BMW
Group’s plant in Dingolfing occasionally also identified these
pseudo-defects (deviations from the target values, but with no actual
fault). With the new AI application, these pseudo-defects no longer
occur because the neural network can access around 100 real images per
feature – i.e. around 100 images of the perfect component, 100 images
with dust particles, another 100 images with oil droplets on the
component, etc. This is particularly relevant in the case of the
visually close calls that have previously led to pseudo-defects. You
can find more information here.

BMW
won the Connected Car Pioneer Award 2020
in recognition of its
versatile use of AI in production.

 

EXAMPLES FROM AFTERSALES & CUSTOMER SERVICE.

AI at dealer service desks.
If a BMW customer
visits a dealer reporting a problem with their car, the problem needs
to be identified quickly and the right solution found reliably. To
help them do this, the service employee has the use of a knowledge
database, which has been expanded using a powerful software stack to
include both an intelligent and scalable search facility and AI (for
processing problem cases and knowledge data). AI incorporates context
information into the search process, enabling it to flag up identical
and similar cases. Added to which, an automatic translation function
breaks down the language barrier in the fault analysis process.

AI-based customer interaction in WeChat.

Chatbots help to significantly increase the quality and
availability of customer service. In China, BMW Financial Services
offers its customers an AI-based chatbot via the widely used WeChat
app. The chatbot allows customers to ask questions regarding their
personal finance agreement or make changes to their agreement. These
bots are first trained to deal with the topics for which most
questions are received by the call centre. If the chatbot cannot
answer a question, the enquiry is passed to a human member of staff.
This means that customers’ most frequently asked questions can be
answered quickly and with a consistently high level of quality around
the clock.

EXAMPLE IN BUILDINGS MANAGEMENT.

Increasing energy efficiency in BMW Group
buildings.
Since 2006 the BMW Group has been able to
consistently increase energy efficiency at its locations around the
world. It has now reached such a high level that identifying further
potential for improvement using conventional means is getting more and
more difficult. This is where the use of smart data and AI comes into
play. The BMW Group systematically processes all the energy-relevant
data at its locations so previously undiscovered energy consumption
patterns can be established using AI. Weather-related data can also be
incorporated into this process, enabling buildings to be heated and
cooled more intelligently and efficiently. In a pilot project in
Munich, this approach has allowed approximately 1,200 MWh of thermal
energy to be saved annually in the IT centre. This equates to the
energy consumption of approximately 60 family homes. This experience
and a rigorous process of data collection and analysis have also led
to positive energy efficiency results at office buildings such as the
BMW four-cylinder building, FIZ Projekthaus, Campus Freimann and the
dynamics centre at Dingolfing.

EXAMPLE FOR ADMINISTRATION & SUPPORT FUNCTIONS.

Customized Machine Translation (CMT) – machine translation
that learns the language of BMW.
The BMW Group is a
multinational company with a presence in over 100 countries. Its
customers, dealers and employees speak hundreds of languages and there
is an enormous daily influx of multilingual texts from external
sources. Human translation of all multilingual data does not make
sense due to the volume and costs involved. Freely available
translation solutions are not permitted for reasons of information
protection and often fail to provide the correct translation of
technical terms and formulations – the correct “BMW language”. With
this in mind, BMW Group IT has developed its own translation solution
specialising in BMW texts. BMW Group employees are now feeding over
2,000 sentences into the system every day.

 

EXAMPLES FOR CUSTOMER AND VEHICLE FUNCTIONS.

Driver assistance.
AI is the key to automated
driving – and is already present in current driver assistance systems
such as Driving Assistant Professional. Automation-based functions
help customers to drive safely, park and stay connected. On motorways,
they can take over longitudinal and lateral guidance of the vehicle
for extended periods. The customer remains responsible for the car,
but their task is now only to monitor what is happening.

BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.

The BMW Group has revolutionised driving pleasure with the BMW
Intelligent Personal Assistant. Introduced in 2019, this intelligent
digital on-board companion responds to the prompt “Hey BMW”. The BMW
Intelligent Personal Assistant increasingly allows the car to be
operated, functions to be accessed and information obtained by voice
command alone. This technology enables direct communication and
natural interaction with the vehicle – helped by AI.

Original Press Release

Live discussion with CEO Jamie Reigle on Formula E at the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt.

BMW:Live discussion with CEO Jamie Reigle on Formula E at the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt.

Munich. On July 16, 2020 at 4 pm (CET), BMW Welt is
inviting fans to a virtual panel discussion about the ABB FIA Formula
E Championship, the first race series for all-electric single-seater
vehicles. This year, following the enforced break due to Covid-19, the
series will resume from August 5 with a total of six races, all in Berlin. 

High-profile guests for this exclusive panel discussion will include
Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E, Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand
Experience BMW, Maximilian Günther, BMW i Andretti Motorsport Driver,
Rupert Buchsteiner, Vice President at Magna International, Andreas
Buchner, Head of Development High Voltage electric Machine and eDrive
Unit, BMW Group, and Rudolf Dittrich, General Manager BMW Motorsport
Vehicle Development. Anyone can take part in the event at the FUTURE
FORUM by BMW Welt free of charge via social media channels or the BMW
Welt website and get insights into the concept and vision of Formula E
as well as its technical background and impact. The event will be
hosted by Nicki Shields, TV presenter and journalist. 

Formula E – the pioneer in motor racing.

To kick off the event, Jamie Reigle will talk about the pioneering
spirit of Formula E, followed by the first topic for the panel
discussion: the vision and success factors of Formula E. The panel
will then consider the following questions: How did Formula E come
about? What is the basic concept of the platform? Are efficiency and
energy management its success factors? What makes Formula E different
from other race series and why are there so many familiar faces from
the other race series? The panel will also look at the future of
Formula E and the impact of Covid-19 on the motor racing industry. 

The second part of the event will focus on the technology of the new
race series: Why is Formula E an innovation lab for the BMW Group and
an important player in the development of future mobility? How does
BMW series production benefit from the rapid developments in Formula E
and which specific product innovations can car owners expect to see in
the future? The experts will then be available to take questions from
online participants. 

The discussions will be held in English. For more information on the
event and the live stream go to https://www.bmw-welt.com/futureforum.

The FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt.

The FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt is dedicated to issues of the future.
Since October 2019 it has been a new meeting place and a modern dialog
platform for the movers and shakers of tomorrow. In May the focus was
on the continuing electrification of our world, followed by events
relating to the sounds of the future. During the rest of the year
there will be more exciting live formats and live streams on topics
such as future technologies, next generation and sustainability. 

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The ABB FIA Formula E Championship is the world’s first race series
for all-electric single-seater vehicles. Sitting in the cockpits and
delivering exciting races on fascinating street courses in major
cities are some of the best racing drivers in the world. Formula E
comes to fans in city centers, bringing electric mobility directly to
the people in shows packed with action and emotion and set in stunning
locations. BMW i and Formula E have been partners right from the
start. As an Official Vehicle Partner, BMW i has been providing the
entire fleet of safety vehicles since the first season and has been
actively involved in the development of the race series. BMW i
Andretti Motorsport is currently competing in its second season as a
works team.

 

The dates at a glance:

 

Panel discussion “Formula E – a
pioneering racing series”. Live stream from the FUTURE FORUM by BMW
Welt at BMW Welt: 

When:              July 16, 2020, from 4 (CET)

Where:             FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt 

Admission:      Livestream from the Future Forum,
online on any BMW Welt social media channel or at 
https://www.bmw-welt.com/futureforum

Experts:           Jamie Reigle, CEO of Formula E

                          Stefan Ponikva, Vice President Brand
Experience BMW 

Maximilian Günther, BMW i Andretti Motorsport Driver 

Rupert Buchsteiner, Vice President, Magna International

Andreas Buchner, Head of Development High Voltage electric Machine
and eDrive Unit, BMW Group

Rudolf Dittrich, General Manager BMW Motorsport Vehicle Development

Original Press Release

Kick-off for Season 6: BMW i Andretti Motorsport present the BMW iFE.20 and its two drivers.

BMW:Kick-off for Season 6: BMW i Andretti Motorsport present the BMW iFE.20 and its two drivers.

Munich. Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship got
underway for BMW i Andretti Motorsport on Monday with the digital
season kick-off. The new BMW iFE.20 was presented to the public for
the first time on Facebook and YouTube. At its heart is the
further-developed drivetrain, the BMW Racing eDrive02, which
incorporates the innovation and technological expertise of BMW i
Motorsport and BMW i.

The two BMW works drivers drivers Maximilian Günther (GER) and
Alexander Sims (GBR) will be taking part in official Formula E
testing E at Valencia (ESP) starting Tuesday.

 

In a 15-minute video, the BMW iFE.20 enhanced in line with Formula E
regulations, was unveiled with its new livery, and viewers also got to
know the two drivers Günther and Sims better. While Sims is contesting
his second season for the team, Günther will make his race debut in
BMW i Andretti Motorsport colours at the season opener in Diriyah
(KSA) in November.

See here for the BMW i Andretti Motorsport ‘Season Kick-Off’ video:
https://youtu.be/1sRcjAc1l68

 

What BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt had to say:

 

…about preparations for Season 6:

“The intense preparation for our second Formula E season with the BMW
i Andretti Motorsport team is still in full swing, both on the
racetrack and in the simulator. It is going well, but isn’t finished
yet. In the coming days we will continue our task at the official test
drives at Valencia. We have analysed the findings from our first
season and focussed our preparation on optimising our performance
overall in all areas. However, we will only truly know where we stand
at the season opener.”

 

 …about the objective for Season 6:

“In our maiden season, with a win, two pole positions and several
podiums, we showed that we are able to bring home top results in
Formula E. However, we know that the performance level is extremely
high and is likely to rise. But in this competitive environment our
aspiration must be to continue improving in our second season and be
able to be among the front-runners battling for the top positions.
Irrespective of the results, we want to show just how dynamic and
emotive electric racing can be, through good and exciting races. And
away from the racetrack we will be present with BMW i. We will
continue to use Formula E as a platform to present innovations in
electric mobility, autonomous driving and other BMW Group cutting-edge
fields to the general public.”

 

…about the technology transfer between racing and production:

“Despite all the sporting ambition and aspirations on the racetrack,
the technology transfer between racing and series production remains a
central pillar of our involvement in Formula E. Our objective for the
works entry for Season 5 was to establish an efficient technology
cycle between BMW i Motorsport and BMW i and we were very successful.
BMW i engineers are already benefitting enormously from the
technological insights we are getting from the extreme use case of
Formula E as they develop future production model engines. We will
continue this close collaboration next season, for the benefit of both parties.”

What BMW i Andretti Motorsport Team Principal Roger Griffiths
has to say:

“The whole BMW i Andretti Motorsport team is excited to get Season 6
underway. Large parts of the team have remained the same, and this
continuity has allowed us to build on our experiences from last
season. We are excited to welcome to the team our new driver
Maximilian Günther; his performances to date have been convincing and
we are looking forward to working with him in the coming months. It is
also great to have Alexander Sims stay in our team. He finished his
rookie season on a high with strong results in New York. We want to
build on that with him. The target for Season 6 is quite simple; we
want to be better than last season and take the next step.”

 

What the BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers have to say:

 

Maximilian Günther: “Coming from Bavaria, it goes
without saying that it is a dream to be able to drive for a
prestigious manufacturer such as BMW and the BMW i Andretti Motorsport
team. I have felt at home here right from the start. I spent the first
few weeks getting to know my new colleagues and have been warmly
welcomed by everyone. I feel that we work really well together and are
working intensively to prepare for the start of the season. My goal is
to get the most out of our package as quickly as possible and to bring
home top results.”

Alexander Sims: “I’m delighted to have the
opportunity to contest another season of a future-oriented race series
like Formula E. Many thanks to BMW i Andretti Motorsport for placing
their trust in me once again. I’m also looking forward to working with
Max. He had a fantastic rookie season, and will no doubt enhance our team.”

The technology behind the BMW iFE.20:

Like its predecessor, the BMW iFE.20 also has a uniform chassis as
stipulated by Formula E regulations. BMW expertise remains primarily
in the core of the car, the enhanced drivetrain. The characteristic of
the BMW Racing eDrive02 was revised based on the detailed information
on the individual racetracks that the team gathered in their maiden
season, and modified to suit the specific challenges of Formula E
races. The changes affect the E-motor and the inverter. The main goal
of the modifications is to improve the efficiency of the drivetrain.
The same glycol as is used in production vehicles is now also used for
its water circulation system. The BMW i Motorsport engineers also
optimised the software that calculates energy management strategies,
and the simulator in Munich. The rear-end structure was also reworked,
to provide more flexibility for the set-up.

When working on the BMW Racing eDrive02, the BMW Motorsport engineers
cooperated intensely and closely with their colleagues in BMW i
production development. The BMW iFE.20 serves as a tech lab for road
car production. The knowledge gained by BMW i Motorsport engineers in
the tough competitive environment of Formula E flowes straight back
into the development of future E-drives for BMW production vehicles.
Motor racing makes it possible to test new materials, technologies and
methods in extreme conditions and without having to take into
consideration restrictive factors.

 

The design of the BMW iFE.20:

From the exterior, the slightly modified design of the BMW iFE.20 is
evident. It maintains some of the elements of its predecessor,
including the blue and white corners which intersect in the style of
the BMW logo. The view from above has also been accentuated which,
considering the usually elevated seating position of spectators at
Formula E races, plays a particularly important role. On top of this
is the asymmetric layout, which provides maximum visibility at race
speed. The striking changes also include the non-reflective, matt
black cockpit element, which has been extended to the whole driver
environment. It puts even more focus on the driver and highlights his
pivotal role in Formula E. The BMW logo pattern emphasised in its
predecessor has been given a slightly more abstract interpretation for
the BMW iFE.20. In return, there is greater accentuation of the
progression of colour from blue to violet, the natural colours of
electricity. Also, the BMW i Motorsport ‘Spirit Marks’ established
during the course of last season are now also reflected in the design
of the cars. To make it easier to distinguish the two BMW iFE.20,
Sims’ #27 car is slightly more violet, while Günther’s #28 BMW iFE.20
is slightly bluer.

Partners of BMW i Motorsport:

An important part of BMW i Andretti Motorsport is the partners
supporting the project. The Primary Partner of BMW i Motorsport is
Magna. The global automotive supplier for future technologies has a
long-lasting partnership with BMW. Magna uses the Formula E platform
as a catalyst for researching innovative solutions for the mobility
landscape. Julius Baer, a founding member of Formula E, has been part
of the BMW i Motorsport family from the very beginning. The Swiss
private banking group is Founding Main Partner. Main Partner of the
team is Einhell, manufacturer of innovative and sustainable power
tools and garden appliances. Harman Kardon, the long-time BMW partner
for premium audio solutions, will continue the relationship with BMW i
Motorsport as Official Partner. PUMA is the Official Supplier.

The TikTok BMW Motorsport #icelebrate Challenge:

BMW Motorsport is using BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s ‘Season Kick-off’
to launch its first hashtag challenge on the innovative social media
platform TikTok. Starting now, the young target audience can take part
in the BMW Motorsport #icelebrate challenge. To get involved, they
have to post a video of them showing how they celebrate great
experiences – like the start of a new Formula E season for BMW
Motorsport. The well-known TikTok creators Falco Punch, Sky & Tami
and PATROX were involved in the production of the launch videos and
created their own clips with the BMW iFE.20 in the unique setting.

The BMW Motorsport #icelebrate Challenge on TikTok: https://b.mw/icelebrate.

Original Press Release

BMW Summer School 2019 shines the spotlight on “Artificial Intelligence and Urban Living”.

BMW:BMW Summer School 2019 shines the spotlight on “Artificial Intelligence and Urban Living”.

Munich. As an initiative from the BMW Group Research
division, the BMW Summer School provides junior scientists from all
over the world with a regular opportunity to discuss their research
with top-class experts from both theoretical and practical
backgrounds. This year’s get-together took place in Lenggries-Fall,
Bavaria on 15 – 20 July 2019 under the auspices of the French consul
general, and was staged in collaboration with EURECOM,
the Technical University of Munich
(TUM)
and BayFrance with the
support of the Franco-German
University
, the Digitalist
Group
and the German-French Academy for the Industry of the
Future. The platform the BMW Summer School provides for dialogue with
established professionals from academia and industry combines with the
participants’ multidisciplinary backgrounds to give the event its
distinct identity. This year, young researchers from the fields of
computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering,
civil engineering, psychology, law and industrial design got together.
“We see the BMW Summer School as a benchmark for cooperation between
industry and universities“, said Hannemor Keidel, TUM representative
for scientific relations with France.

Artificial intelligence is transforming mobility and urban living.

“Advances in the field of artificial intelligence have a major role
to play in shaping the future of mobility,” commented Michael
Würtenberger, Head of the Excellence Cluster for AI at the BMW Group.
“The BMW Group identified AI as a vital research area at an early
stage and set up the requisite development expertise.” The influence
of AI extends far beyond mobility into day-to-day life, future
production methods and business processes; AI therefore affects
society as a whole. The interdisciplinary nature of the BMW Summer
School 2019 made it the ideal forum for highlighting to participants
the social relevance of their research topics.

BMW Summer School: the sharing of scientific knowledge between
the worlds of theory and practice across three main areas.

To facilitate an intense exchange between the junior researchers and
the experts from science and industry, the programme for the BMW
Summer School 2019 was organised into three main areas.

Highlights from the keynote track, for example,
included a talk by Carlo Ratti, who heads the Senseable City Lab at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ratti: “Large cities
worldwide are facing enormous challenges. Big Data and AI can give us
better knowledge of the urban environment, and thus their potential
beneficial applications are countless.  This requires a new generation
of researchers to think and collaborate across disciplines and it is
great to see this kind of thinking fostered by the BMW Summer School”.
There were also breakout sessions that gave the participants the
chance to discuss specialised topics in small groups with academics
and industry representatives. The issues up for debate included the
use of AI for mobility services, design thinking methodology, quantum
computer technology and ethical considerations relating to the
interaction between human and artificial intelligence. “The successful
development of smart cities relies on the harmonization between
people, mobility solutions and infrastructure and their mutual
cooperation. We are expecting artificial intelligence and 5G to be
catalysts for smart cities”, said Weiyun Jiao from the Chinese
National Center for Intelligent Transport Systems in one of the sessions.

The poster track centred on the fields of research
pursued by the up-and-coming scientists. The participants presented
the ideas behind their current research and its objective to the
multidisciplinary audience in a competition format. This year’s awards
for the best research posters and most engaging presentations went to
Matthias Zöhrer (Graz
University of Technology
), Dantong Ge (Beijing Institute of
Technology
) and Felix Batsch (Coventry University).

The third key element was the lean startup machine.
The participants were split into mixed groups, asked to develop
innovative product and service ideas based on their research topics
under the guidance of agile design coaches and eventually present them
to the audience in a short pitch. This competition gave the young
researchers a realistic impression of what putting technological
innovations into practice entails, be it in the form of a business
idea or company startup. This year’s winning team of the startup pitch
award created the concept for „APPetite“ – an AI empowered meal
planner that helps its users to reduce the ecological impact of food waste.

In addition to the three main elements of the BMW Summer School 2019
programme, the PhD students also seized the opportunity to share ideas
informally among themselves and with the assembled science and
business experts. This allowed them to gain some inspirational
insights into the research work carried out in various disciplines and
its practical application in the industrial sector. A pair of evening
events involving Prof. Jörg Ott and Prof. Constantinos Antoniou from
TUM and Dr. Markus Grüneisl, Head of Production Systems,
Digitalisation and Operative Excellence at the BMW Group, helped
maximise this exchange of knowledge.

Experts at the BMW Summer School 2019.

Industry and business:
Pang Heng Soon, SGInnovate,
Singapore
Markus Grueneisl, BMW Group
Toni Cheng,
Alibaba
Ulrich Fastenrath, BMW Group
Jane Vita, Digitalist
Group
Oliver Oberst, IBM
Jakub Marecek, IBM
Tom
Hubregtsen, BMW Group
Irina Benkert, BMW Group
Kyle
Hounslow, Digitalist Group

Research:
Prof. Carlo Ratti, MIT
Weiyun Jiao, ITSC,
Ministry of Transport, People’s Republic of China
Prof. Arnaud de
la Fortelle, Mine ParisTech
Prof. Jean-François Bruneau,
IVADO
Prof. Jörg Ott, TUM
Prof. Constantinos Antoniou,
TUM
Susanne Müller, Munich School of Philosophy

Research committee at the BMW Summer School 2019.

Committee chairpersons:
Prof. Ulrich Finger, Director of
EURECOM
Prof. Andreas Herkersdorf, Head of the Chair for
Integrated Systems, TUM
Michael Würtenberger, Head of Research
E/E Architecture and Technologies, BMW Group

Original Press Release

Fast, efficient, reliable: Artificial intelligence in BMW Group Production

BMW:Fast, efficient, reliable: Artificial intelligence in BMW Group Production

Munich, Germany. Artificial intelligence (AI) is on
the rise in automotive production. Since 2018, the BMW Group has been
using various AI applications in series production. One focus is
automated image recognition: In these processes, artificial
intelligence evaluates component images in ongoing production and
compares them in milliseconds to hundreds of other images of the same
sequence. This way, the AI application determines deviations from the
standard in real time and checks, for instance, whether all required
parts have been mounted and whether they are mounted in the right place.

The innovative technology is fast, reliable and, most importantly,
easy to use. Christian Patron, Head of Innovation, Digitalization and
Data Analytics at BMW Group Production: “Artificial intelligence
offers great potential. It helps us maintain our high quality
standards and at the same time relieves our people of repetitive tasks.”

At the BMW Group, flexible, cost-effective, AI-based applications are
gradually replacing permanently installed camera portals. The
implementation is rather simple. A mobile standard camera is all that
is needed to take the relevant pictures in production. The AI solution
can be set up quickly too: Employees take pictures of the component
from different angles and mark potential deviations on the images.
This way, they create an image database in order to build a so-called
neural network, which can later evaluate the images without human
intervention. Employees do not have to write code; the algorithm does
that virtually on its own. At the training stage, which may mean
overnight, a high-performance server calculates the neural network
from around 100 images, and the network immediately starts optimizing.
After a test run and possibly some adjustments, the reliability
reaches 100%. The learning process is completed and the neural network
can now determine on its own whether or not a component meets the specifications.

Even moving objects are reliably identified largely independent of
factors such as lighting in the production area or the exact camera
position. This opens up a wide range of potential applications along
the entire automotive process chain, including logistics. In many
cases, the AI technology relieves employees of repetitive, monotonous
tasks such as checking whether the warning triangle is in the right
place in the trunk or whether the windscreen wiper cap has been put on.

Artificial intelligence can also perform more demanding
inspection tasks

In the final inspection area at the BMW Group’s Dingolfing plant, an
AI application compares the vehicle order data with a live image of
the model designation of the newly produced car. Model designations
and other identification plates such as “xDrive” for four-wheel drive
vehicles as well as all generally approved combinations are stored in
the image database. If the live image and order data don’t correspond,
for example if a designation is missing, the final inspection team
receives a notification.

Christian Patron: “We rely entirely on the experience and expertise
of our employees in these efforts. They can judge best at which
production steps an AI application may improve quality and efficiency.
We deliberately keep the setup and implementation of such applications
simple. Their operation requires no advanced IT proficiency.”

AI eliminates pseudo-defects

At the press shop, flat sheet metal parts are turned into
high-precision components for the car body. Dust particles or oil
residues that remain on the components after forming can easily be
confused with very fine cracks, which occur in rare cases during the
process. Previous camera-based quality control systems at the BMW
Group’s plant in Dingolfing, Germany, occasionally also marked these
pseudo-defects: deviations from the target, even though there was no
actual fault. With the new AI application, these pseudo-defects no
longer occur because the neural network can access around 100 real
images per feature – i.e. around 100 images of the perfect component,
100 images with dust particles, another 100 images with oil droplets
on the component, etc. This is particularly relevant in the case of
the visually close calls that have previously led to pseudo-defects.

The BMW Group’s Steyr plant and the BMW Group Data Analytics Team are
also successfully working on eliminating pseudo-defects. Presumed
irregularities in torque measurement in the engine cold test later
often turn out to be insignificant. Before introducing the AI
solution, however, such results led to complex manual inspections and
further test runs, up to and including hot tests with fuel. The
analysis software was trained based on many recorded test runs and
thus learned to distinguish between actual and presumed errors.

AI ‘in control’: Integrating artificial intelligence with
facility and robot control systems

The first smart AI control application at the BMW Group celebrated
its premiere at the BMW Group’s Steyr plant. This application speeds
up logistics processes by preventing unnecessary transports of empties
on conveyor belts. To this end, the containers pass through a camera
station. Using stored image data marked by employees, the AI
application recognizes whether the container needs to be lashed onto a
pallet or whether – in the case of large, stable boxes – no additional
securing is required. If no lashing is required, the AI application
directs a container by the shortest route to the removal station for
the forklift truck. Containers that must be additionally secured, on
the other hand, are guided directly to the conveyor section with the
lashing system and only then to the removal station located behind.
Previously, all containers had to be transported to the removal
station for large containers. From there, the containers that required
additional securing had to be forwarded – and would only reach the
lashing facility and finally the correct removal station after taking
this detour.

Besides the application in Steyr, AI is behind numerous other logistics
innovations
at the BMW Group. It also supports virtual layout
planning, which creates high-resolution 3D scans of buildings and
factories. Artificial intelligence ultimately contributes to the
recognition of individual objects in the 3D scan, such as containers,
building structures or machines. This allows engineers to remove
individual objects from the 3D scan in the 3D planning software and to
modify these individually, which makes it easier to simulate and
understand adaptations on the shop floor.

There is already a distinct trend toward using AI applications at the
BMW Group’s plants. The increasing integration of smart
data analytics
, state-of-the-art measurement technology and AI
opens up new opportunities in production management. At the body shop,
for instance, images from the final inspection may show that weld
metal has sprayed out at the same welding point in several car bodies.
Using AI, the control loop can thus be closed and system control or
maintenance cycles be adjusted even faster and more efficiently. At
the paint shops, AI and analytics applications offer the potential to
detect sources of error at such an early stage that errors can hardly
occur any more: If no dust attaches to the car body before painting in
the first place, none has to be polished off later.

Original Press Release

Thrilling visions at Formula E home race: BMW i presents a look into the future in Berlin.

BMW:Thrilling visions at Formula E home race: BMW i presents a look into the future in Berlin.

Munich. Saturday marks BMW i Andretti Motorsport’s home race
in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship: the BMW i Berlin E-Prix
presented by CBMM Niobium. In the support programme for the tenth
race of the season, Formula E fans will experience the innovative
and technological capabilities of the BMW Group up close and
personal. A variety of title partner BMW i activity areas invite
visitors to take a look into the future of mobility and visualise
exactly how the BMW Group is actively shaping it.

“For the BMW Group, Formula E has been more than just
a race series right from the start,” said BMW Group Motorsport
Director Jens Marquardt. “In addition to the sporting commitment, we
are using Formula E primarily as a platform to demonstrate innovative
and technological capabilities. The support programme at our home race
shows the many facets of the BMW Group’s forward-looking approach.
This is exactly the same as our approach in development where we have
established an efficient technological cycle between BMW i Motorsport
and BMW i, which benefits both us at the racetrack and BMW i
customers. The technical insights we gain through the extreme use in
Formula E flow directly back into series development.”

Dr. Jens Thiemer, Head of BMW Brand Management, said: “The home
race in Berlin is one of the highlights of the whole Formula E season
for us – and the perfect platform for demonstrating how BMW i is
involved in the key areas of future activity in the automobile
industry. With our diverse BMW i Vision Experience, we invite visitors
in Berlin to experience for themselves how the BMW Group presents the
development in the fields of design, automated driving, connectivity,
electrification and services. In particular, I’m looking forward to
the BMW i Vision Walk, which we developed in collaboration with our
Primary Partner Magna. It makes for excellent entertainment for the
whole family – and at the same time lets everyone know what we have
planned for the coming years.”

BMW i Vision Walk.

BMW i and Magna designed the BMW i Vision Walk in close
collaboration. It takes visitors on a journey through the mobility
topics of the future that are grouped under the term D+ACES (design,
automated driving, connectivity, electrification and services) at the
BMW Group. Holograms and interactive games impart background
information in an entertaining way, making the BMW i Vision Walk an
exciting, varied experience.

BMW Vision iNEXT.

The BMW Vision iNEXT is on display in the BMW i Experience Area in
the eVillage. The vision vehicle offers insight into what the BMW
iNEXT, due to be launched in 2021, has to offer in terms of
cutting-edge technology. With its ground-breaking technology for
highly automated driving, intelligent connectivity, and innovative
display control concepts, the BMW Vision iNEXT showcases totally new
ways to utilise driving time. 

BMW Vision iNEXT Virtual Drive.

In the Virtual Drive, visitors experience a virtual drive in the BMW
Vision iNEXT – accompanied by the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.
In addition to the vision vehicle on display, a sophisticated
mixed-reality installation provides an impression of what it is like
to drive autonomously, emission-free, and fully connected in the BMW
Vision iNEXT. To begin the simulation, the BMW Intelligent Personal
Assistant suggests an agenda for the day and plans the activities for
the trip perfectly. With virtual reality goggles and a
specially-designed spatial concept, visitors are able to immerse
themselves in this virtual world. Initially, they drive the BMW Vision
iNEXT themselves, but the vehicle soon takes over the driving function.

BMW i Co-Pilot Experience.

Visitors in Berlin can also experience autonomous driving for
themselves. At Tempelhof, a self-driving BMW i3 (combined fuel
consumption 0.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption 13.1 kWh/100 km;
combined CO2 emissions 0 g/km)* awaits the opportunity to
demonstrate its skills. Those attending the BMW i Co-Pilot Experience
use a smartphone to call the car over, allow it to drive them through
an obstacle course and experience how the car then parks and
manoeuvres by itself.

BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car.

After its unveiling before the Monaco E-Prix (MON) two weeks ago, the
BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l/100 km;
combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh/100 km, combined CO2
emissions: 46 g/km)* will be on standby in Berlin for the first time
in its official capacity as the safety car. It is primarily through
its spectacular design that the car sets new standards. It is the
first safety car in the world that can be deployed with an open
cockpit. The most striking characteristics of the spectacular
silhouette are the rear wing and the shortened windscreen.

The design continues the pattern, inspired by the BMW logo, of
alternating blue and white colour elements, already familiar from the
BMW iFE.18 and the BMW i8 Coupe Safety Car, and enhances it with a
print that perfectly fits open-top driving and the context of street
races that are standard in Formula E.

The BMW i Support Vehicle Fleet.

BMW i is “Official Vehicle Partner” of the ABB FIA Formula E
Championship in Season 5. Spearheading the fleet are two Safety Cars:
The BMW i8 Roadster Safety Car, which has been specially modified for
use at the racetrack, and the BMW i8 Coupe Safety Car (combined fuel
consumption: 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100
km; combined CO2 emissions: 42 g/km)*. The BMW i fleet also
includes the BMW i3s (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km;
combined energy consumption: 14.3 kWh; combined CO2
emissions: 0 g/km)* as “Race Director Car” and the BMW 530e (combined
fuel consumption: 2.2-2.1 l/100 km; combined energy consumption:
13.6-13.3 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 49-47 g/km)*
in its role as “Medical Car”.

The values for fuel consumption, CO2 emission and energy
consumption shown were determined in the standardized test cycle
according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version
applicable at the time of type approval. The figures refer to a
vehicle with basic configuration in Germany and the range shown
considers optional equipment and the different size of wheels and
tires available on the selected model.
The values are already
based on the test cycle according to the new WLTP regulation and are
translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to allow a
comparison between vehicles. With respect to these vehicles, for
vehicle related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on
CO2-emissions the CO2 values may differ to the values stated
here.
Effective 06.12.2018
Further information about the
official fuel consumption and the official specific CO2 emission of
new passenger cars can be taken out of the „handbook of fuel
consumption, the CO2 emission and power consumption of new passenger
cars“, which is available at all selling points and fromDeutsche
Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760
Ostfildern-Scharnhausen, and under https://www.dat.de/co2/.

Original Press Release

The Kitchen of the Future

BMW:The Kitchen of the Future

Munich/Vienna. “What is the significance of good,
responsibly-prepared food?” On Monday in the Schönbrunn Orangery in
Vienna, top-class representatives of the gastronomy industry discussed
the varied aspects of this question during several panels.
Participants of the first ECKART foodlabs then exchanged their
knowledge of the producers’ market and put this knowledge into
practice with selected products from all across Austria and the
international Alpine region.

In his opening speech at the plenum of the Schönbrunn Orangery,
Eckart Witzigmann said: “We must find appropriate answers to the
questions of our time.” Wolfgang Puck and Franck Giovannini, winners
of this year’s ECKART, who were honoured the previous evening,
discussed the great cuisine of today with Eckart Witzigmann. “We need
the avant-garde to move things forward,” was the conclusion of the
high-calibre panel.

“The product is the star.” Under this motto several workshops
informed the audience about unique products from the Alpine region –
such as the citrus variety that has been cultivated for centuries in
the Schönbrunn Orangery, types of grains that are 24 million years
old, a wide range of cheeses from the Alpine region and honey vintages
from the last 30 years. Maximilian Schöberl, Head of Corporate and
Governmental Affairs and Chief Representative of BMW AG, commented on
the opening of the producers’ market: “True to our motto ‘The product
is the star’, we invited food producers from all across the region.
High quality, no long transport routes and sustainable production.
That’s how I imagine the perfect products.”

In the final discussion of the ECKART foodlab #1, prominent figures
presented their ideas on what the kitchen of the future will look
like. Rainer Nowak, Editor-in-Chief of Die Presse, drew the following
conclusion: “The kitchen of the future should be more educational,
healthier, more regional and more feminine. Anna Haumer, top chef from
Vienna, sees a concrete task for the upscale gastronomy industry of
the future: “The kitchen has an educational task. Cooking with
children is important so that they know how and which ingredients are
used to prepare what is on the table. Heinz Reitbauer from Steirereck
presented his vision of star cuisine: “It is important to create your
own profile. We want to enchant guests and tell stories. We have an
important part to play in the cultural landscape.”

The topic of communal dining was also examined in detail. Nowadays,
large kitchens have to strike a balance between the obligation to
provide and responsible nutrition, according to the tenor of the
discussion. “Good company catering is an image factor,” said
Maximilian Schöberl. “We offer our employees the same high standards
all over the world. We focus on a regional approach and open kitchens.
And we want to use our information campaigns to raise employees’
awareness of good food and to also share this knowledge with their families.”

Alois Adlberger, head of BMW Group Food Service Steyr, adds:
“Measured by sales, the BMW Group is one of the ten largest companies
in Austria and has an annual purchasing volume of 1.8 billion euros
from domestic suppliers. Our gastronomy at the Steyr plant makes an
important contribution to this. We already procure more than 80% of
our food from the region around the plant. Quality and freshness are
of course directly related to taste. True to the title of the
discussion “Class versus mass”, Adlberger adds: “Our focus is on
enjoyment. That’s what we learn from top gastronomy.”

The ECKART

The BMW Group and the ECKART Academy have been partners since 2012
and jointly award the international Eckart Witzigmann Prize for
outstanding achievements in the gastronomy scene and beyond. The
partnership is based on the common goal of promoting healthy
nutrition, sustainable cuisine and the responsible use of resources.
Previous award winners include Daniel Boulud, HRH Charles Prince of
Wales, Elena Arzak, Anne-Sophie Pic, Harald Wohlfahrt, Dieter
Kosslick, Ferran Adrià, Marc Haeberlin, Joël Robuchon, Alex Atala, Jon
Rose, Mick Hucknall, Massimo Bottura, Dominique Crenn, Andreas
Caminada, Tiffany Persons, María Marte, Alain Ducasse, and many others.

The award for sustainable enjoyment and social responsibility was
presented at a ceremony in Vienna on 19 May 2019.

 

 

BMW Group Press and Public Relations

Daria Nikitina, Corporate Communications

Telephone: +49 89 382-60340, Fax: +49 89 382-24418

Email: Daria.Nikitina@bmw.de

Mathias Schmidt, Head of Corporate and Cultural Communications

Telephone: +49 89 382-24544, Fax: +49 89 382-24418

Email: Mathias.M.Schmidt@bmw.de

Internet: www.press.bmwgroup.com

Email: presse@bmwgroup.com

 

ECKART Academy, Executive Management

Represented by: Otto Geisel
Tel.: +49 (0)89 139
260 26
, Mobile: +49 (0)151 65533070

Email: office@ottogeisel.de

 

The BMW Group

With its four brands BMW, MINI, Rolls-Royce and BMW Motorrad, the BMW
Group is the world’s leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and
motorcycles and also provides premium financial and mobility services.
The BMW Group production network comprises 30 production and assembly
facilities in 14 countries; the company has a global sales network in
more than 140 countries.

In 2018, the BMW Group sold over 2,490,000 passenger vehicles and
more than 165,000 motorcycles worldwide. The profit before tax in the
financial year 2018 was € 9.815 billion on revenues amounting to
€ 97.480 billion. As of 31 December 2018, the BMW Group had a
workforce of 134,682 employees.

The success of the BMW Group has always been based on long-term
thinking and responsible action. The company has therefore established
ecological and social sustainability throughout the value chain,
comprehensive product responsibility and a clear commitment to
conserving resources as an integral part of its strategy.

www.bmwgroup.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BMWGroup

Twitter: http://twitter.com/BMWGroup

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/BMWGroupView

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bmwgroup

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bmwgroup/

 

Original Press Release

BMW Group enlists KPIT and TTTech as software development partners for autonomous driving. Strong partnerships serve as enablers for Autonomous Driving Platform.

BMW:BMW Group enlists KPIT and TTTech as software development partners for autonomous driving. Strong partnerships serve as enablers for Autonomous Driving Platform.

  • In teaming up with KPIT and TTTech, the BMW Group has chosen
    software partners with a global footprint and proven expertise in
    the development of both software platforms and autonomous driving technologies.
  • The partners will be able to assist with rolling out the software
    stack within the Autonomous Driving Platform to third parties,
    thereby facilitating access for OEMs.

Munich. The BMW Group has once again selected expert
software development partners, further consolidating its partner
network in the process. The aim of the collaboration with KPIT and
TTTech is to press ahead with the scalable Autonomous Driving Platform
and to work together on the development of Level 3 and Level 4/5
functions (Highway Pilot and Urban Pilot). This move bolsters the BMW
Group’s development resources for automated driving and represents
another step forward in its quest to expand the platform’s ecosystem
and establish the technology in the automotive industry.

KPIT and TTTech will be well positioned to help roll out the software
stack within the Autonomous Driving Platform to third parties. This
will make it easier to integrate other OEMs and begin offering
scalable software solutions across the industry.

“Tackling this immense challenge calls for an all-embracing
approach,” said Elmar Frickenstein, Senior Vice President Fully
Automated Driving and Driver Assistance, BMW AG Munich. “This includes
building strong alliances that allow us to gain valuable know-how and
also speed things up. In order to achieve our objective in 2021, we
are collaborating with the best technology partners in the world.”
This explains the recent development of BMW Group partnerships in the
field of autonomous driving.

Since July 2016, the BMW Group has been developing a network of
world-leading technology partners to help expand the platform’s
footprint. These include Intel, Mobileye, Continental, Magna, FCA,
Aptiv and Baidu.

Original Press Release