AI Helps BMW Self-Driving Cars Detect Emergency Vehicles

Cerence’s Emergency Vehicle Detection tool automatically detects emergency vehicle sirens and alerts drivers in Level 3 automated mode

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

June 10, 2024

2 Min Read
Out of focus ambulances driving on a road
Getty Images

BMW is leveraging AI-powered tools from Cerence to improve driver safety in its self-driving vehicles.

BMW will integrate the Cerence Emergency Vehicle Detection (EVD) tool into its Level 3 Personal Pilot to detect if emergency vehicles are approaching.

Level 3 is classed by the Society of Automotive Engineers as when a car is in control of the driving in certain, specific circumstances.

The EVD tool can identify the distinct sounds of emergency vehicles. Once detected, Cerence’s AI-powered solution automatically dims the volume of music playing in the car and notifies the driver to pull over.

EVE can detect siren signals up to a distance of 984 feet using interior vehicle microphones and up to 1,968 feet using exterior microphones.

“As autonomous systems advance, they accelerate a new era of AI-powered companions that seamlessly gather information about the plethora of situations a driver may face in the cabin and on the road so that they can take appropriate action,” said Iqbal Arshad, Cerence’s chief technology officer.

Cerence’s extended suite of Audio AI technology can remove noise from audio inputs to enable improved detection of potential sounds in and around the vehicle. The company also offers an exterior-focused suite of AI tools that can enable drivers to interact with their cars from the outside, enabling them to close the trunk using their voice, for example.

Related:BMW, AI Pioneer Andrew Ng on What Drives Connected Mobility

The software firm is already working with Volkswagen to integrate OpenAI’s ChatGPT into its IDA voice assistant.

“BMW Personal Pilot L3 is an important advancement in delivering the types of intelligent, automated capabilities that enhance the driving experience, with Cerence Emergency Vehicle Detection helping to deliver improved safety for everyone on the road,” Arshad said.

BMW’s Personal Pilot can control the vehicle’s speed and determine the appropriate distance between other road users. In addition to Cerence’s safety tech, it uses Live HD mapping to provide monitoring of a vehicle’s environment as well as a library of underlying software and a 5G link-up to the company’s cloud.

BMW’s Personal Pilot L3 is initially available in 7 Series in Germany with the company planning to expand its L3 vehicles. Personal Pilot has yet to be approved for use on U.S. roads.

The company was granted approval for its L3 tech for use on roads in China in December 2023.

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

Keep up with the ever-evolving AI landscape
Unlock exclusive AI content by subscribing to our newsletter!!

You May Also Like