One person has died and nine were seriously injured after an electric and partly-automated BMW test car veered into oncoming traffic in Germany, triggering a series of collisions involving four vehicles.
The electric BMW iX, which had five people on board including an 18-month-old toddler, swerved out of its lane at a bend in the road in the southwestern town of Reutlingen on Monday, brushing an oncoming Citroen.
The BMW, which costs at least £77,300, then hit a Mercedes-Benz van head-on, resulting in the death of a 33-year-old woman in that vehicle.
Meanwhile, the 70-year-old driver of the Citroen lost control of her car and crashed into another vehicle with two people on board, pushing it off the road and causing it to burst into flames.
Cops probing the cause of the crash initially said the crash involved an autonomous test vehicle and said it was unclear whether the 43-year-old BMW driver was actively steering the vehicle at the time or whether it was travelling autonomously.
BMW later confirmed that one of its test vehicles was involved, but denied that the vehicle was fully autonomous.
The firm said the vehicle was equipped with its Level 2 driver assistance systems, in which case ‘the driver always remains responsible’. Such systems can brake automatically, accelerate and, unlike Level 1 systems, take over steering, according to BMW’s website.