This Friday morning, a special kind of vehicle delivery took place at the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI):
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Suchandt, Vice President for Research at the THI, and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Werner Huber, Head of the CARISSMA Institute of Automated Driving (C-IAD), received the keys to a BMW M8 Competition from representatives of BMW AG Munich and Autohaus Hofmann Ingolstadt. This already embodies technology, design, digitalisation and engineering performance in itself, but as a special training and research vehicle it also offers interfaces that allow direct access to the vehicle's central control system.
Also present, under the valid conditions of infection control, were Thomas Grupp, Head of Aftersales Market Germany (BMW Group), Wolfgang Wachendorf, Manager Customer Support BMW & MINI Germany (BMW Group), Detlef Hertwig, Managing Director Autohaus Hofmann GmbH, and Michael Leininger, Sales Manager Autohaus Hofmann GmbH.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Suchandt: "Test vehicles like this BMW are particularly important for applied research. With it, experiments on autonomous driving can be carried out on the real object and not just purely virtually."
Several research groups at the THI are dealing with questions of artificial intelligence, digitalisation and data exchange in the context of autonomous driving. Here, the test vehicle offers an attractive experimental platform. However, the BMW will also be used in education to teach students about the current state of vehicle construction in practical courses.
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Huber states: "It is an incredible lucky find for us, as this vehicle offers ideal conditions to further advance research into safe autonomous driving. We have the opportunity to equip the vehicle with sensors and computers to develop and test intelligent algorithms for data acquisition and driving control."
In the future, the test object will be specifically integrated for research into open source solutions and the development of uniform standard interfaces. In addition, the entire spectrum of possible driving functions can be covered in future projects.
Even though the car promises to be a lot of fun and a pleasure to study, it will remain a research vehicle: unfortunately, the sporty car will not be seen outside the research areas, as it is a pre-series vehicle without road approval. Driving tests with the BMW will therefore be carried out in the CARISSMA indoor hall or on the outdoor grounds.