BMW announced this week their plans to start a cloud-based data exchange platform that will not be using US or Chinese technology. The collaboration will include major industry and technology players from Germany. This was an expected move since traditional allies are seeing their interests divided recently, the pandemic showing European companies how dependent they are on both Chinese and American technologies.
In this endeavor, BMW will be joining forces with Siemens AG and SAP SE to create a platform that’s similar to the offerings from Alibaba or Amazon’s Web Services. This cloud technology will enable German car makers and their suppliers to figure out potential bottlenecks in the production process or parts shortages. This way, they can prepare for the future, to avoid the outages they had to deal with this year as the coronavirus lockdown put a serious strain on the supply chain.
This new system will be based on the European Gaia-X cloud service and will have help not just from the aforementioned partners but also from Deutsche Telekom, Robert Bosch Gmbh or even ZF Friedrichshafen. This way, European car makers will be in charge of their own data and be more protected in case of any future trade wars. Furthermore, sensitive information will now be stored on their own servers.
The automotive alliance will “ensure value-added manufacturing and employment in Europe are secured,” German economy minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement for Bloomberg. This is definitely a good move for EU-based companies that have grown more and more depended on outsiders for their technology needs. What seemed like a sturdy collaboration in the past, especially with long-time allies USA, was proven to be far from perfect, especially over the last four years. While regrettable, this sort of approach will pay dividends on the long run.