BMW announced yesterday that the company will be opening a new computing center in China, to further develop its autonomous driving capabilities. In this effort, BMW will be joined by Chinese gaming giant, Tencent, the two teaming up to create a powerful computing center, capable of processing all the data gathered by self-driving cars across China. At the moment, details about how much each company invested are still unknown.
According to Reuters, the center is bound to become operational by the end of the year. The goal is to offer the test cars on the public roads of China these days, the support needed to process all the data gathered. BMW is the only non-Chinese car maker who has been allowed to test autonomous technologies on public roads in the Asian country. According to the same source, the center will be built in the city of Tianjin, in the Eastern part of China.
BMW’s head of operations in China, Jochen Goller said the new center “will support BMW’s autonomous driving development and innovation in China. BMW can, therefore, develop autonomous driving solutions that fit better with the specific driving conditions in China.” Furthermore, Tencent’s cloud computing will provide the car maker with the infrastructure needed to make sure the data is transferred fast and safe to the center.
This is the second such facility to be open by BMW in the last few years. The first one became operational in 2016, in Munich, aimed at solving complex scenarios for German self-driving prototypes. BMW also claims that it will be launching its first Level 3 autonomous cars in 2021 including in China and thus it will need this high-tech center to assist their newly developed technology once the time comes.