BMW and Daimler have announced the official start of their partnership regarding autonomous vehicle technology. The two companies hope to bring advanced autonomous vehicle technology to market by 2024.
Earlier this year BMW and Daimler had announced a shared $1 billion investment in an electric mobility partnership that would focus its efforts on ridesharing, charging, and more. Along with that, a Memorandum of Understanding (basically a non-binding document that outlines the terms two companies would reach if they were to go through with a formal partnership) was disclosed between the two companies.
A formal contract has now been signed that will see the two historic German rivals join forces to advance their respective autonomous driving technologies.
The press release states that the partnership:
…will focus on joint development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and automated parking (all to SAE Level 4). In addition, further talks are planned to extend the cooperation to higher levels of automation in urban areas and city centres. This underscores the long-term and lasting nature of the undertaking, which will extend to encompass a scalable platform for automated driving. The non-exclusive cooperation is also open to other OEMs and technology partners, with results being made available to other OEMs under license.
You’ll notice that the partnership is a “non-exclusive cooperation”. Autonomous vehicle technology and electrification as a whole has had automakers trying to cooperate as much as possible as the monetary investment and manpower required to elevate current vehicle technology is immense.
In fact, we recently saw a white paper published by Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, HERE, Infineon, Intel and Volkswagen which covered topics such as relevant safety methods for Level 3/4 autonomous driving.
Back to the partnership, a key aim of the cooperation is a “swift market launch of the technology” which Daimler and BMW hope to have in passenger cars available for private customers by 2024. Currently the two companies will commit over 1,200 specialists who will focus on, “developing a scalable architecture for driver assistance systems, including sensors, as well as a joint data centre for data storage, administration and processing, and the development of functions and software.”
What do you guys think of the partnership? Let us know down in the comments below.