Elmar Frickenstein

Elmar Frickenstein

Head of Driver Assistance Systems and Autonomous Driving

Disrupting the automotive industry: self-driving cars

The automotive industry is facing the next revolution with autonomous driving cars powered by new technologies, legal requirements for sustainability and safety as well as changing customer demands around mobility and ownership concepts. Remaining successful means developing partnerships, building up the right competences and driving transformational change now!


Elmar Frickenstein is Senior Vice President for Fully Automated Driving and Driver Assistance at BMW Group. This area was re-established as part of the realignment of the corporate strategy of BMW and combines research as well as advanced and series development for one of the central issues of the future – the “Fully Automated Driving”.

Elmar Frickenstein began his career in the computer and aerospace industries and joined the BMW Group in 1988. After taking on a variety of management positions at BMW, he was appointed Senior Vice President in 2006 and was responsible for the division Electrics, Electronics and Driver Environment for a total of 10 years. Under his leadership AutoSAR, Ethernet as well as the first apps in the vehicle in 2009 became industry standards. In the area of display control concepts and networking, he and his team lead BMW to the benchmark in the automotive industry. ConnectedDrive has been expanded to 100 % networking of all BMWs and the vehicles of BMW became part of the “Internet of Things”. Last year, remote-controlled parking in the BMW 7 series was introduced as a world premiere under his responsibility – the first step towards highly automated driving.

Elmar Frickenstein is one of the pioneers of digitalization in the car. Since beginning his tenure at BMW, he pursues the vision of seamlessly networked and safe vehicles that can run fully automated in the future.