Ansys and BMW are creating what they say is, "the industry's first holistic simulation tool chain for developing autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies." The simulation tool chain is expected to enable highly automated and autonomous driving (AD), with the first vehicle launch expected in two years. BMW Group is leveraging Ansys' engineering simulation solutions with the goal of speeding the development of a safety-focused solution for the validation of AD systems.            

The multi-year agreement is expected to drive development of BMW Group's Level 3 offering and Levels 4-5 technology, delivering high/full automation for the BMW iNext, expected to launch in 2021. The new automated simulation tool chain will make use of BMW´sensor data through intelligent data analytics and the creation of scenarios according to statistical relevance and AD system sensitivity. The scenarios will include usual driving situations and corner cases to ensure maximum test coverage. Based on these scenarios, the tool chain will perform safety assessments of the AD systems in a virtual environment. Ansys and BMW say they will support its adaptability and openness regarding relevant interfaces and validation approaches to accommodate and foster safety initiatives.

Ansys will assume exclusive rights to the simulation tool chain technology for commercialization to a wider market.

"BMW Group is a leader within the automotive industry and is revolutionizing the automotive landscape through their development of cutting-edge autonomous vehicle technologies that will drastically transform transportation as we know it. This partnership is a true game changer, positioning BMW and Ansys as key drivers for turning this future vision into a near-term reality," said Eric Bantegnie, Vice President and General Manager at Ansys. "Ansys simulation brings a complete virtual testing environment for AV systems to this partnership, designed to usher in a new era of fully autonomous vehicles and help address critical safety validation requirements for autonomous driving."