BMW wants to have a driverless car ready by 2021 - here's what it could look like

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RollsRoyce thumb02 Rob Ludacer

BMW plans to release a fully self-driving car in 2021.

The German automaker has always operated on a 2021 timeline to launch its self-driving car tech. However, on Thursday, the company said for the  first time  that it will have a Level 5 autonomous car ready at that point. Level 5 autonomy means the vehicle is capable of handling any driving situation in any area without human intervention. 

Most automakers are planning to release Level 4 self-driving cars in the next 5 years, which means they are driverless but can only operate in select areas.

Last October, BMW put together a line of futuristic concept vehicles to explore what the next century of driving could look like. The line consists of driverless concept cars and even a futuristic motorcycle.

Scroll down for a closer look:

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1. The Mini Vision Next 100 concept car gives us a taste of what cars will look like when ridesharing becomes increasingly more popular.

The car can recognize who you are when you approach it and will greet you with a light-up sign. It'll also remember your driving preferences and prepare the car to your liking.

The car can recognize who you are when you approach it and will greet you with a light-up sign. It'll also remember your driving preferences and prepare the car to your liking.

That sure comes in handy if you're sharing the car with more than one other person!

The interior is sleek and clear of any clutter. If you choose to drive it yourself, a heads-up display will show you useful information like where you are on your route.

The interior is sleek and clear of any clutter. If you choose to drive it yourself, a heads-up display will show you useful information like where you are on your route.

But because this is the future of driving, the car can drive autonomously. The steering wheel will move into the center when it's in driverless mode.

But because this is the future of driving, the car can drive autonomously. The steering wheel will move into the center when it's in driverless mode.

2. The Vision Next 100 is an incredibly sleek concept car. The wheels make this beautiful fluid motion when you turn the steering wheel.

Like its mini counterpart, the car has two driving modes: Boost Mode is for classic, manual driving, but Ease Mode will make it a self-driving car.

Like its mini counterpart, the car has two driving modes: Boost Mode is for classic, manual driving, but Ease Mode will make it a self-driving car.

When the car is in Boost Mode it will show a heads-up display with information about the drive, like your route, and alerts for things like oncoming vehicles.

When the car is in Boost Mode it will show a heads-up display with information about the drive, like your route, and alerts for things like oncoming vehicles.

And in Ease Mode, the steering wheel retracts.

The car also comes with an AI assistant called Companion that will customize the car to your liking and signal to pedestrians to cross.

The car also comes with an AI assistant called Companion that will customize the car to your liking and signal to pedestrians to cross.

3. But perhaps the coolest car in the line is the completely autonomous Rolls-Royce concept, called the 103EX.

3. But perhaps the coolest car in the line is the completely autonomous Rolls-Royce concept, called the 103EX.

Rolls-Royce, which is a subsidiary of BMW, showed off the 103EX in June 2016.  

Passengers can't access a steering wheel at all, but can sit back and relax on a comfy, silk sofa.

Passengers can't access a steering wheel at all, but can sit back and relax on a comfy, silk sofa.

And there's an entire OLED screen that takes up the entire wall of the front cabin.

And there's an entire OLED screen that takes up the entire wall of the front cabin.

Its sleek doors will open up and out when you're ready to start your trip.

And there are other little perks like a secret compartment to store your luggage.

The Rolls-Royce concept also comes with its own AI assistant named Eleanor. It can give you updates on your trip and let you know of upcoming appointments.

The Rolls-Royce concept also comes with its own AI assistant named Eleanor. It can give you updates on your trip and let you know of upcoming appointments.

4. BMW's most recent addition to the line is the Vision Next 100 Motorrad. The frame of the motorcycle slopes from the front to the rear wheel as one whole structure so that turning the handlebars moves the entire bike.

4. BMW's most recent addition to the line is the Vision Next 100 Motorrad. The frame of the motorcycle slopes from the front to the rear wheel as one whole structure so that turning the handlebars moves the entire bike.

The motorcycle has a set of massive wheels so it won't tip over when you sit on it while it's motionless. It also comes with active assistance systems to keep it stable when driving.

The motorcycle has a set of massive wheels so it won't tip over when you sit on it while it's motionless. It also comes with active assistance systems to keep it stable when driving.

The motorcycle also comes with a pair of augmented reality visor glasses that display information about the bike directly in front of the rider's point of view.

The motorcycle also comes with a pair of augmented reality visor glasses that display information about the bike directly in front of the rider's point of view.

Even the rider's gear is high-tech. The suit is embedded with sensors that can sense immediate danger and vibrate to tell the driver to adjust accordingly.

Even the rider's gear is high-tech. The suit is embedded with sensors that can sense immediate danger and vibrate to tell the driver to adjust accordingly.

None of these concepts vehicles are up for sale, but they demonstrate BMW's vision for the future of transportation.

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