Next-gen BMW 5 Series optical measuring cell 1

While BMW isn’t prepared to fully reveal its next-generation G30 BMW 5 Series yet, the carmaker is more than happy to share some information about the technology that will employed in its production.

The company recently claims to be the first automaker in the world to implement a robotic optical measuring cell in its pilot plant in Munich. Essentially, it is a fully-automated 3D scanner that can create a digital model of full-sized vehicle in half the time previously required, with an accuracy of less than 100 micrometres.

The setup involves two small, flexible robots fitted with two sensors that record reference points and then capture individual surface areas of approximately 80 by 80 cm each. The data is then combined to form a scan of the entire vehicle. Any deviations based on the analysis of the scan are alerted to technical integration specialists in the company’s production division, so they can take appropriate action early on.

Being fully automated, 3D vehicle scanning can be performed at off-peak hours or at night, so the measuring cell can be utilised to full capacity, allowing for shorter update cycles. The new 5 Series sedan will be the first model to benefit from this technology, according to BMW.

The BMW Group first tried out the system back in 2015, in an experiment held at the Munich plant. At the time, the system was only used to in toolmaking, and for complete measurement of individual sheet-metal parts as well as tool inspection. With the new 5 Series however, it will mark the first time the technology is used in the assembly process of a car.

Of course, the introduction of this technology indirectly teases the arrival of the next-gen 5 Series as well, based on the photos you see here. Unfortunately, the photos only reveal the car’s rear and roof, along with a brief glimpse of the car’s left headlamp. The latter appears to be carry the marque’s Laserlight with Selective Beam system.

Our earlier spyshots provide a little more info on the new 5er, which will likely adopt design cues from the G11/G12 BMW 7 Series. Similar to the current F10 5 Series, the upcoming G30 range will also include Touring and GT models, as well as a high-performance M5 sedan.