We took a spin in Aptiv's autonomous BMW at this year's CES, and it was boring -- in a good way. Evidently, the Delphi spinoff is so confident in its tech that it's ready to deploy it on a wider scale.
Aptiv announced today that it will launch a fleet of 30 self-driving BMWs in Las Vegas. The vehicles will be available for use on the Lyft network, and it's no different than selecting a normal ride via Lyft's app, although it is opt-in, so tech-averse folks won't be forced to use one. As with the CES demonstration, it appears the vehicles will be limited to select areas -- as Aptiv calls them, "high-demand locations."
If the vehicles are largely unchanged from CES, expect a fleet of BMW 5 Series vehicles with bright orange wheels. Inside, the infotainment screen has been altered to show a bit of what the vehicle's sensors "see" on the road ahead. A tablet in the backseat allows riders to see how much of the route is left to travel. A safety driver will sit in the driver's seat in case human control is required.
While it will give normal folks the chance to experience autonomy in its fledgling stages, Aptiv gets something out of it, too. "The massive amounts of data we will gather on how these cars react to countless, unpredictable scenarios -- all with operators ready to take over if needed -- is invaluable and will help us improve our systems across the board," said Glen De Vos, Aptiv's CTO, in a blog post.
Aptiv first gave out demonstrations of this tech at CES. Over the course of 400-plus rides, the service picked up an average customer rating of 4.99 stars out of 5. Vegas residents and tourists alike will be able to hail one of Aptiv's cars starting on May 3.