Start-up ideas that are open source will drive the BMW Group’s new autonomous vehicle think-tank outside Munich, the car maker’s board member for development has told us. The centrepiece of BMW’s hopes to morph into a tech company, the 23,000m2 Autonomous Driving Campus opened recently, concentrating 1,000 connectivity and autonomous driving developers in one location. Fifteen months in the making, the Unterschleißheim site will eventually host 1,800 developers, with BMW ramping up as the 2021 launch of the Level 4-capable i-Next electric car approaches. "Welcome to the new Silicon Valley here in Bavaria," BMW’s Group’s senior vice-president for mobility, Elmar Frickenstein, said. "For us, autonomous vehicles (AVs) is one of the most important challenges in the auto industry. It’s about bringing a completely new system to the street," Frickenstein said. "We tackled extreme challenges — challenges we have never faced in the automotive industry. It’s open plan with large-scale scrums ...

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