BMW Group

Rittal IT infrastructure for automated driving

Adaptive cruise control and lane assist functions were conceived in the minds of car developers 20 years ago. Meanwhile, such features have long become standard in every new vehicle. However, countless more test drives will be needed, and vast volumes of data must be evaluated before automated driving becomes a reality. The BMW Group is working towards this goal, collecting data on numerous test drives and processing it in a Rittal IT container.


BMW - Rittal Data Center Container
Munich , Germany

Collecting data during test drives

Storing and transferring this data to main DC 

Not enough space for setting up a DC at the location

Housing of three so-called copy racks

Access only to the copy racks and not the IT infrastructure e.g. cooling 



Turnkey DC container with racks, UPS and cooling with parking space next to the DC

DC is divided into two sections, drivers can only access the front part where they insert the the storage devices

Rear part of the DC is enclosed and locked and access is only ossible for authorised personnel only 

When test drivers set out to collect data, they always put themselves in the role of the future driver and run through several different scenarios. At the BMW Group, test drivers start their tours by opening the boot and inserting a solid-state hard drive. Their goal for the day is to collect and record data. Numerous measurement units and sensors in the rear log every event occurring during the drive. One GB of data is generated every second that passes. The hard drive, which can hold 16 TB of data, is 75 to 100 percent full. 

When the journey ends, the drivers remove the hard drives and plug them into a copy rack. After an initial automatic pre-selection, almost 25 percent of the collected data is transferred directly from the rack to the main data centre in Munich. The measurement results are evaluated, and the functions are optimised during post-processing.


Since there was not enough space for a secure server room in the factory buildings at the test site, the experts opted for an outdoor IT container solution from Rittal that could be quickly set up: Almost as if making a pit stop, the drivers of the test vehicles can drive right up to the data centre to insert the data storage devices for the readout process. The technical solution consists of a turnkey Data Centre Container from Rittal that is equipped with racks, cooling and an uninterruptible power supply that simply has to be plugged into the mains. One striking feature inside is that an aisle containment solution divides the data centre into two sections. For security reasons, drivers can only access the front part of the racks, where the data carriers can be inserted easily and conveniently and where the input functions for data transfer are located. The rear of the racks are enclosed and locked so that only authorised personnel have access and so that nothing can enter this sensitive technical zone if it rains or snows.