Literally days after BMW and Daimler announced their joint-ventures in next-gen mobility, the two German giants announced yet another, even more interesting collaboration, this time in the field of autonomous driving. The arch-rivals are going to work together to develop Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous systems, looking to cut both costs and development time. According to their estimates, this move will allow the companies to have software ready in the mid 2020s.
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Initially, the focus will be on advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and parking features (up to SAE Level 4). The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop this technology. Joint development work will be carried out via a scalable architecture covering several stages of automation, with Levels 3 and 4 enabling automated driving on highways.
In addition, there’s a possibility of extending this collaboration to cover higher levels of automation, both on highways and in urban areas. The development of current-generation technologies and ongoing collaborations of the two companies will remain unaffected and continue as before. Therefore, the memorandum signed today will apply to future plans. The two companies also announced today that they are looking for more partners in this new endeavor.
“As we continue to pursue our strategy, we are combining the expertise of two technology leaders. At the BMW Group, long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable, non-exclusive platform are fundamental to advancing the industrialization of autonomous driving. Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology,” said Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development.
Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development said: “Autonomous driving is one of the most revolutionary trends for us at the moment, and the entire Daimler Group is working very hard on it. As always at Daimler, our top priority is safety. Instead of individual, stand-alone solutions, we want to develop a reliable overall system that offers noticeable added-value for customers. Working with the right partners, we want to make significant advances in enhancing the performance of this technology and bring it safely on the road.”