Status: Need is Open

Underfloor Object Detection System for Autonomous Vehicles

Request Number

Point of Contact

BMW is seeking technologies that enable vehicles to detect objects. The solution should reliably detect an object that rests under or near the car and share this information for the release to start driving.


For the purpose of driverless operation, it is crucial to avoid any risk of harm. In the domain of automated driving systems conforming the SAE levels (SAE J3016) perception of the environment is critical to achieving safety requirements. A parked vehicle cannot monitor its surrounding area to detect objects approaching the vehicle and rest under or very close to the car. BMW is seeking for improved/alternative sensor or detection solutions that can scan the ground under and next to the vehicle before the vehicle starts. It should detect any relevant objects under the vehicle and prevent the vehicle from starting to drive if an obstacle is detected.

Key success Criteria
  • Solution applicable for low speed (0-6Kmh-1)
  • Detection probability 99.99%
  • Easy to integrate into the car
  • Robust in case of underfloor mounting
  • Robust in general, esp. against different environmental conditions like sunlight, snow, night time etc.
  • Self-diagnostic and function availability shortly after a vehicle/system startup
  • 3D detections in a standstill, moving and stationary objects
  • No sensor cross talks from other systems/vehicles
  • Surveillance of the whole area under the vehicle, and next to the sides. If possible up to 2.5 m but this is optional.
  • Detection of any objects higher than 10 cm and bigger than 10x10x10 cm
  • Detection of organic materials (e.g. children, animals) and inorganic materials (e.g. wheel clamp)
Possible Approaches
  • Both early-stage solutions (TRL >= 4, Integrated components demonstrated in a laboratory environment) and mature solutions, mature solutions are preferred
  • Technologies may refer to, but are not limited to:
    • Ultrasound
    • Optical / Infrared
    • Terahertz Technology
    • Radio Waves
    • Static electric / magnetic fields
  • Any approach that makes sure that an automated driving system that sets in motion will not cause any harm.
Approaches not of Interest
  • Technologies that do not have the perspective to meet the high safety standards of the automotive industry (ex. FMVSS regulations, ECE automotive safety standards)
  • Technologies harmful to the environment
  • Technologies with high service and maintenance requirements
Due Date
Jan 30
Items to be submitted

To submit your idea or proposal, please use the Respond button on the right of this page. Please note that only non-confidential information can be accepted. By submitting a response: you represent that the response does not contain and will not be deemed to contain any confidential information of any kind; and you acknowledge that BMW may, in their absolute discretion, select or reject a response or any portion thereof.


Your response should be an executive summary of what you are proposing. It should include both technical information on how the technology will work in addition to the given benefits to the consumer and how you believe it can be of use to us as a business. Information on the background of those involved in the project will also be required in your response to this need posting.


We suggest you include the following:

  • Describe the technology
  • How the technology is relevant to our brands (specific or in general)
  • Level of maturity of the technology (development stage or just a proposal)
  • How adaptable is the technology, can it be used in a wide range of scenarios?
  • Background information on the people involved in the proposal


Remember….. Don’t send anything that could be considered confidential at this point.

Client Point of Contact

Christoph Mersmann
Gallery Moderator(s)
Dezarae Carver
Request Number
Preferred Collaboration Types
Area of Interest