• Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
  • Image Credit: BMW
BMW celebrates its 100th birthday in 2016, and the brand might mark the occasion by showing a concept with a nearly production-ready autonomous system, according to Autocar. Company sales and marketing boss Ian Robertson hinted that the automaker could be close to introducing the next-gen tech.

"We've reached the 'feet off' phase of autonomy, and now we're in the 'hands off' and 'eyes off' phase, but only for brief periods," Robertson told Autocar. He thinks fully autonomous driving could be possible in 15 years because the company needs to work out how to make it safe.

In addition to talking about autonomous tech, Robertson said the company's March 7th centenary would focus the future. "There will be some products we will share," he told Autocar. "Maybe what I've been alluding to will be the direction of that."

BMW has tested autonomous technology for years and already impressively showed an M235i that could drift by itself. An i3 (pictured above) was even able to park without driver assistance in a multi-story garage at CES last year. Recent rumors about Google's piloted ridesharing service suggest this could be the perfect time for the German automaker to take the next step.

BMW's bigger challenge could be determining how much autonomous ability to give drivers. Tesla might soon reduce features from its Autopilot system because a few owners aren't responsible enough to use the tech safely. California also proposed regulations that could limit the capabilities of driverless vehicles.

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