Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

BMW opens autonomous driving campus in Germany

The BMW Group has opened its autonomous driving campus in Unterschleißheim, near Munich, Germany.

The campus is a state-of-the-art centre of excellence, which offers 23,000 square metres of office space with room for 1,800 employees.

The BMW Group is intending to drive forward development of highly automated vehicles with the new campus and is looking to recruit IT specialists and software developers in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis.The autonomous driving campus is opening its doors to “new working environments” – i.e. an open-plan layout, intelligent and flexible use of office space, and a multifaceted and creative workplace.

The benefits for the development experts employed here, says the company, are flexibility, efficiency, a high level of autonomy and short distances. A software developer working at the new campus can immediately test out freshly written code in a vehicle that is just a short walk away.

New working environments go hand in hand with a new employee and management culture, with managers working in the same open-plan office spaces as their staff.

This enhances interaction and facilitates communications, resulting in effective teamwork in the development of highly complex products, says the company.

The BMW Group claims to be the first company in the automotive industry to apply the agile working model systematically and universally for an entire specialist area – in this case across autonomous driving and driver assistance, from the research phase all the way through to series production development.

Agile working models form a crucial basis for efficient, future-proof development, it says.

The company says that the open campus structure offers excellent conditions and exceptional support for scrum teams, and therefore lends itself perfectly to the agile software development process. Scrum teams have an interdisciplinary structure, meaning that a variety of skills are brought together.

They handle complex sub-processes, working independently with an end-to-end approach. The high degree of flexibility allows the teams to react quickly and effectively to new requirements.

This is a time of disruptive change in the automotive industry, with the arrival of new players making the competitive environment ever more challenging.

The pace of innovation is accelerating rapidly and young professionals cite future viability, a modern working environment and flexible, agile workflows as key to an employer’s attractiveness.

A cutting-edge development facility such as the new campus for autonomous driving therefore represents a crucial asset for the company’s long-term sustainability and innovative capability, adds the company.