Christoph Grote says autonomous cars will cut accidents because they "abide by all rules"(Photo: Claus Dick)

FRANKFURT - A senior BMW research executive reaffirmed the industry's focus on autonomous driving, saying the trend is "absolutely no hype."

Christoph Grote, who heads technology and innovation in BMW's R&D department, told the carIT Congress here that autonomous driving will offer "premium driving comfort, more security and more traffic efficiency."

He cited driver distraction as the biggest cause of car accidents and noted that "the highly automated car infrastructure never sleeps." And, with regard to speed, which is the second biggest cause of accidents, Grote noted that an autonomous vehicle "abides by all rules and regulations."

Grote said automakers need to agree on a range of standards before autonomous driving can become a reality. He cited map formats, data types, sensor information and other hardware and software items in this respect.

The carIT Congress, which is hosted by the automotiveIT Group, takes place every year during the Frankfurt Auto Show and the Hanover Truck Show.

-By Arjen Bongard