(GERMANY)

BMW’S new autonomous driving centre is harnessing agile working conditions to accelerate the transition to self-driving vehicles.

The centre in Unterschleißheim is a barrier-free environment; with traditional hierarchical layouts ditched for a campus with ‘agile workflows’ where skills and positions collaborate in an open plan space.

Unterschleißheim Campus. Credit BMW Group.

“New working environments go hand in hand with a new employee and management culture, and managers work 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,” BMW said in a press statement.

The campus is now beginning a recruitment drive to bring in “IT specialists and software developers in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analysis”.

BMW is a global leader in autonomous driving tech, and has featured a number of times on these pages for its leadership in this area, including the initiative it is spearheading with Intel and other big industry names, to bring self-driving vehicles to the market.

And while the recent fatality involving an Uber self-driving vehicle has rightly raised questions about the technology, the direction of travel – according to one report – suggests moving to autonomous vehicles when they can prove even ‘moderately’ superior capabilities than humans could save lives.