Daimler AG and the BMW Group are to partner on automated driving. 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 jointly to develop this technology and view their partnership as a long-term, strategic cooperation. The partners aim to make next-level technologies widely available by the middle of the coming decade.
The planned cooperation offers the Daimler AG and BMW Group a number of obvious advantages: the skills and experience of the individual partners and a scalable architecture will speed up and streamline the development of future technology generations. Besides the synergies, new technologies will be faster to market, with shorter innovation cycles.
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, the two partners plan to discuss the possibility of extending their collaboration to cover higher levels of automation, both on highways and in urban areas.
These considerations underline the sustainable, long-term nature of the cooperation, which includes the aim to create a scalable platform for automated driving.
The development of current-generation technologies and ongoing collaborations of the two companies will remain unaffected and continue as before. Ongoing development of latest-generation technologies and existing collaborations will remain unaffected by the projected cooperation and go ahead as planned.
Daimler AG and the BMW Group will also explore additional partnerships with other technology companies and automotive manufacturers that could contribute to the success of the platform.
Autonomous driving at Daimler AG. Daimler AG has been working on series development projects not only for specific Level 3 vehicles but also for Levels 4 and 5. Long a leader in active safety systems, it programmed its systems largely in-house right from the very beginning.
2019 will see the launch in San José, Silicon Valley, of its first pilot program, with Bosch, on self-driving vehicles (Levels 4/5) in urban environments. This will be the next milestone within the existing cooperation between both partners and the cooperation will continue as planned.
Early next decade, Daimler will bring to the market not only highly automated (Level 3) vehicles but also fully automated (Level 4/5) vehicles.
Autonomous driving at the BMW Group. The BMW Group has been working on highly automated driving since 2006, and has established a non-exclusive platform with technology specialists, suppliers and OEMs to take it to series maturity.
Since 2017, work in this area has been consolidated at the Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleißheim, just north of Munich, and the industrialization and scalability of the technology is being advanced with the support of partners. New agile software development is used at the Campus to speed up development of the platform and set new industry standards.
Globally, more than 70 test vehicles are testing state-of-the-art technology. They collect data in order to improve machine learning with artificial intelligence through simulations and test new Level 2 - 5 functions out on the road.
The generation of technologies that is currently under development will go into series production as Level 3 automation in 2021 in the BMW iNEXT where it will also be Level 4 enabled for pilot projects.