BMW has recently deployed its artificial intelligence (AI) platform, codenamed BEACON, to provide a platform environment for development, deployment, integration and operation services related to AI application innovation, accelerating the digitalization of multiple business scenarios, the company has learned from BMW Group officials.
According to BMW, the deployment of the AI platform has brought a “super brain” online for the company’s production and operations, injecting new momentum into BMW’s digital development in China. This is another important milestone in the BMW Group’s digital transformation process in China, following the BMW iFACTORY production strategy that landed in Shenyang in June.
The English name “Lighthouse”, BEACON, is an acronym for BMW, E2P, AI Algorithm, Computer Vision, OR, and NLP. This is the acronym for the current AI platform. These are the main technology modules currently included in the AI platform. Unlike the common AI single-point applications in the industry, the “Lighthouse” platform is like a “super brain” that integrates the advantages of AI and industrial IoT, allowing AI to empower multiple layers of technology applications, while effectively solving the problems of high threshold, high cost and low efficiency faced by traditional AI scattered applications. It also effectively solves the problems of high threshold, high cost and low efficiency of traditional AI scattered applications.
For example, a BMW IT engineer in Nanjing needs to develop an AI application. Instead of setting up a physical data center with a certain amount of computing power locally, she \ he just needs to input the code and parameters for training online to the “Lighthouse” platform, start the task and get computing resources and conduct algorithm training. In this process, the computing resources she \ he uses can be released to other developers at any time, so there is no concern that the computing power will be idle and wasted when the project is stalled. She \ He can also run the developed AI applications on the “Lighthouse” platform, without bearing the related hardware operation and maintenance costs. This significantly reduces the equipment requirements and threshold for digital development.
It is also known that about 100 AI applications are already live at the BMW Shenyang production site, and the BMW Brilliance Rida plant, which will be completed in June 2022, is equipped with a data center covering an area of about 3,500 square meters and a gigabit 5G network covering the entire plant. All of this provides a stage for the Lighthouse platform to be used.
“The Lighthouse platform is also highly versatile and scalable. For example, natural language processing algorithms developed for certain production scenarios may be used to support the development of in-vehicle speech recognition products, or even to develop AI caption generation programs for internal company video conferences. In the future, more technology modules will be added to the Lighthouse platform, with blockchain, quantum computing, and multimodal fusion already being key areas of focus for E2P.