CNBC got a chance to take BMW’s new self-driving car out for a spin. Here’s what it was like – CNBC

Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2017

The entire drive was a tour in the next wave of autonomous technology. As the passengers took their place in the vehicle, equipped with the BMW open mobility cloud, a Segway parking robot called Loomo was busy at work parking a returning car.

For the next 90 minutes, two engineers in the front passenger and back seats rode on the automated voyage. The car itself is equipped with several sensors from cameras to an Intel depth sensor. BMW’s open mobility cloud is a recently launched digital experience that allows passengers or drivers to interact with destinations using a series of gestures.

Liberated from the burden of having to keep one’s eye on the road, passengers can do a range of other tasks, including making dinner reservations.

The demo had a story line that began by having the passengers meet our “dad” in a parking lot, follow him to another point, and order something from Amazon Prime — just one of the third-party partner applications that will be integrated into the open mobility cloud, along with Microsoft‘s Cortana and Opentable. These actions on the road were used to showcase the capabilities of the open mobility cloud.

The next destination would be picking up the Amazon package on the way back to the original start site. This cloud, which is supported by Microsoft and Amazon, will be available to consumers starting in March.

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