Data Driven Futures

BMW and Daimler partner for automated driving tech

Written by Hannah McGrath

BMW Group and Daimler have launched a long-term partnership aimed at developing self-driving technology for passenger cars by 2024.

The automakers said the collaboration would involve 1,200 engineers and development specialists from both companies combining to create technologies for driver assistance systems which will enable “highly automated driving on highways” and automated parking.

The companies said the tech will then be used independently in vehicles rolled out under their respective brands.

The co-operation agreement is non-exclusive, with firms open to further joint working with original equipment manufacturers and technology partners, and the results of the co-operation made available under license.

In a statement, BMW said: “This underscores the long-term and lasting nature of the undertaking, which will extend to encompass a scalable platform for automated driving.”

The statement added: “The key aim of the cooperation is the swift market launch of the technology, which is expected to feature in passenger car systems for private customers from 2024.”

Efforts will focus on developing a scalable architecture for driver assistance systems, including sensors, joint data centre for data storage, administration and processing, and the development of functions and software; BMW said.

The extension of BMW and Daimler’s automated driving tie up comes after a number of car manufacturers and artificial intelligence firms - including Audi, Volkswagen, Intel, Baidu and Fiat Chrysler - jointly authored a whitepaper entitled on safety within automated driving.

Launching the memorandum of understanding for the project with BMW, Daimler management board member Ola Källenius said that the top priority is safety. “Instead of individual, standalone solutions, we want to develop a reliable overall system that offers a noticeable value-add for customers – working with the right partners, we want to make significant advances in enhancing the performance of this technology and get it ready for the road.”

Klaus Fröhlich, member of the board of management of BMW, added: “Long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable, non-exclusive platform are fundamental to advancing the industrialisation of autonomous driving.”