Page Overview: Research and Development
The picture shows a man and a woman measuring different things in a BMW laboratory.

Research and Developement at BMW.

There's no need to predict the future. You can create it.

Research and development is where our visionary teams dare to imagine new ways for mobility to move us – and perfect the next-generation of pioneering technologies that will bring this future to life.

From e-mobility and vehicle digitalisation to autonomous driving and beyond, our R&D specialists work at the cutting edge of automotive technology, using their collective expertise in classical engineering and IT to develop the innovative technologies that will have a lasting impact on the future of mobility.

That’s why we are always looking for passionate new visionaries to help us push each other – and the boundaries of what’s possible – to the next level. Whether classical engineering or software development, our research and development covers the entire bandwidth. Your ideas and solutions could prove invaluable in helping us write the next chapters in automotive history.


  • Advanced Development / Research
  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
  • Autonomous Driving
  • Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic
  • Drive Train
  • Driver Experience Cockpit
  • Electric Mobility
  • Electrics / Electronics
  • Homologation
  • New Technologies
  • Safety Engineering
  • Software Development
  • Strategy / Project Management
  • Vehicle Architecture
  • Vehicle Body
  • Vehicle Dynamics

Want to know more about opportunities in research and development with us? Then scroll down to find out more on topics from 5G to mixed reality and autonomous driving.

Job Finder.

Insights into our R&D topics.

In the foreseeable future, the establishment of the new 5G standard will transform vehicle networking as we know it and open up new possibilities for truly driver-centric mobility. Thanks to lightning-fast transmission rates and negligible latency, 5G will enable our vehicles to communicate even more efficiently with each other and drivers in future. Safety-relevant information such as congestion and accident warnings will be available even faster and more reliably, while online entertainment possibilities will enter a whole new dimension.

Our next generation display and control concept is all about digital transformation that puts customers in the driver’s seat of their in-car information and entertainment. From dashboard to heads-up virtual display and beyond, all screens and multimedia communications work in concert to provide the driver with exactly the information they need, precisely where and when they need it. This allows them to stay in complete control of their vehicle, without any distractions, whilst also enjoying their preferred choice of entertainment. Intuitive operation is key to this driver-centric approach, which is why our software specialists and IT engineers are developing state-of-the-art 3D visual and gesture control concepts to ensure drivers enjoy the safest and smoothest experience possible.

The latest technological advances mean the driving experience is no longer limited to the test track. Using games-engine driven software and virtual reality it’s now possible to test vehicle prototypes and components in Mixed Reality environments that accurately simulate real driving experiences during the very earliest stages of development. Specially customised VR goggles like those used in the computer games industry enable our developers to see first-hand how new technologies and components affect the driving experience, whilst state-of-the-art motion actuators even simulate the physical forces that impact the way a vehicle handles. As a result, our dynamic teams have the freedom to continuously hone and fine-tune new technologies and concepts in a highly agile way – fast-tracking the development of tomorrow’s driving experiences until they’re just perfect.

The BMW Group is already leading the way when it comes to bringing fully autonomous vehicles to the world’s roads. And in order to ensure we stay at the forefront of this game-changing field in future mobility we have invested in a new Autonomous Driving Campus at Unterschleissheim near Munich. This dedicated state-of-the-art facility now houses our collective expertise in this exciting area under one roof, and is home to the passionate teams of engineers, software developers and other specialists tackling one of the defining challenges in future mobility. Designed to foster a highly collaborative working culture, the campus functions as an incubator and start-up for new ideas and solutions that can be developed in a truly agile environment.

Discover more about our Autonomous Driving Campus

2006: First autonomously driven Track Trainer (BMW 3 Series) completes the Hockenheimring circuit following the racing line.

Since 2011: Ongoing tests of BMW prototypes equipped with high levels of automated driving capabilities tested on the A9 in Germany.

2017: Testing of a fleet of 40 BMW 7 Series equipped with highly and fully automated driving capabilities begins in Germany, Israel and the USA.

2018: Official opening of the BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim near Munich

LEVEL 0: The vehicle is under the complete control of the driver (no autonomous driving)

LEVEL 1: Assisted driving, e.g. Lane Keeping Assist, Hill Start Assist

LEVEL 2: Semi-automated driving, e.g. automatic parking, lane keeping function

LEVEL 3: Highly automated driving, e.g. Lane change and speed control

LEVEL 4: Full automation. The vehicle assumes all the functions required for driving. In unknown situations it passes control back to the driver. A level 4 demo of a BMW 5 Series saloon has already been showcased at CES 2017

LEVEL 5: Autonomous Driving. The driver is no longer needed. The vehicle just needs the driver to input a destination before it drives completely independently.

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