BMW Group shares AI algorithms used in production

Munich. The BMW Group uses a growing number of
artificial intelligence (AI) applications in production. For instance,
AI relieves workers of monotonous tasks such as checking whether the
warning triangle is placed in the right spot in the trunk. This task
is now performed by a camera and self-learning software that compares
the camera’s live images with hundreds of stored images in
milliseconds and can detect any deviations from the standard.

The BMW Group has now shared selected algorithms from this area of
artificial intelligence on an open source platform (
The algorithms are part of various AI applications, in particular in
automated image recognition and image tagging.

Making these publicly available allows software developers all over
the world to view, change, use and improve the source code. “With
the algorithms we are now publishing, the BMW Group has significantly
reduced the development time for neural networks for autonomous
transport systems and robots,” says Dirk Dreher, Head of
Logistics Planning. Neural networks independently compare live images
in production and logistics with image databases to detect any
deviations from the target state.    

The open source approach benefits both interested software developers
and the BMW Group. “We provide elements of our innovative digital
image tagging software, which has proven effective in multiple AI
applications; in turn, we receive support in taking our AI software to
the next level of development. Also, this allows us to focus more
strongly on advancing specific AI applications in production and
logistics,” comments Christian Patron, Head of Innovation,
Digitalization, Smart Data Analytics.

“We are making major investments in artificial intelligence. By
sharing our algorithms with the global developer community, we want to
do our part and make AI accessible to a broad group of users. We
expect the further open source development to lead to a rapid and
agile advancement of the software,” adds Kai Demtröder, Head of
Artificial Intelligence, Data Platforms at BMW Group IT.

In keeping with the open source approach, all users of the algorithms
are guaranteed anonymity. Any flaws in the algorithms can be
identified quickly; in this process, automated functions provided by
the platform operators can also be used, if needed. For quality
assurance purposes, the BMW Group checks all incoming user suggestions
before they are put into productive use or shared. The model – in
other words, the actual AI application being developed with these
algorithms – always remains protected. All users are free to decide
whether they want to make their models accessible to partners, such as suppliers.