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BMW and Daimler join forces for automated driving

BMW Group and Daimler are to jointly develop technologies for driver assistance systems and semi-autonomous driving – with the first technologies to be widely available by the mid-2020s.


The technology will be market-ready by the mid-2020s

Announced just days after the firms revealed they’re investing more than €1bn in their mobility joint ventures, the carmakers have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a view to a long-term strategic co-operation.

The technologies will be classed as SAE Level 3 – ‘eyes off’ where the driver can take their attention away but still needs to be ready to take over – and Level 4 ‘mind off’, where vehicles are fully autonomous in controlled areas. 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.

The goal of the partnership is to help utilise the skills and experience of both firms to develop a scalable architecture that will speed up and streamline the development of future technology generations, and ensure new technologies will be faster to market, with shorter innovation cycles.

They will also explore additional partnerships with other technology companies and automotive manufacturers that could contribute to the success of the platform.

Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development, said: “As we continue to pursue our strategy, we are combining the expertise of two technology leaders. At the BMW Group, long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable, non-exclusive platform are fundamental to advancing the industrialisation of autonomous driving. Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology.”

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development, added: “Autonomous driving is one of the most revolutionary trends for us at the moment, and the entire Daimler Group is working very hard on it. As always at Daimler, our top priority is safety. Instead of individual, stand-alone solutions, we want to develop a reliable overall system that offers noticeable added-value for customers.

“Working with the right partners, we want to make significant advances in enhancing the performance of this technology and bring it safely on the road.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.