The launch of the new BMW Group High Performance D3 platform represents a key milestone on the BMW Group’s roadmap to highly and fully automated driving.
The “D3” in the new IT platform’s name stands for Data-Driven Development, which forms the basis for the development and validation of highly and fully automated driving functions. Data-Driven Development is an indispensable tool in securing the safety and reliability of the Level 3 system to be offered in the BMW iNEXT in late 2021.
The BMW Group has been applying the Data-Driven Development approach for a couple of years now. The basic principle is rooted in the assumption that the only way of mapping – and thereby ultimately handling – the complexity and variety of traffic situations encountered on every continent is to gather vast quantities of data. This means the algorithms and overall operation of autonomous driving have to be validated using a broad data pool.
The first step in the process is to collect approx. 5 million kilometres (3.1 – 3.7 million miles) of real-life driving data from the test fleet vehicles. From this data, two million kilometres(1.25 million miles) of the most relevant driving scenarios and environmental factors are then extracted.
The relevance of the data collected is continuously improving thanks to the way in which qualitative data is selected using data qualification/filtering. These two million kilometres of driving data subsequently undergoes regular reprocessing as development progresses. This happens whenever a new control unit integration level (I-level)becomes available, in order to evaluate the new I‑level’s increase in performance.
This qualified two million kilometres of data is constantly expanded by a further 240 million kilometres (150 million miles) of simulation-generated data, which is primarily based on the relevant driving scenarios and ensures that the immense diversity of real-life driving is taken into account properly during development.
The reprocessing of the two million real-life kilometres and 240million virtual kilometres requires a high performance data platform of over 230 petabytes storage capacity and the computing power of more than 100,000 cores and more than 200 GPUs (Graphics Processing Units).
There is a 96 x 100Gbps connection between the BMW Group High Performance D3 platform and the Hardware-in-the-Loop(HiL) stations located at the BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus. The net useable data rate is approx. 3.75 Terabit/s.
The fleet currently numbers around 80 BMW 7 Series cars, which are in operation on the west coast of the USA, in Germany, Israel and China. The number of vehicles is set to increase to approx. 140 by the end of 2019.
Below are some figures to illustrate the capabilities of the BMW Group High Performance D3 platform: