BMW and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, have announced a new partnership to work together to develop new generation autonomous vehicles.
The two German automakers have recently announced a joint investment of one billion dollars in a fully electric self-powered mobility program on demand, but they have also announced a new protocol agreement.
According to a joint press release, this new partnership will focus on "the development of next generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated motorway driving and parking features (up to the level of 4 of the SAE) ".
Ola Källenius, member of the board of directors of Daimler AG, responsible for group research and development of Mercedes-Benz cars, said:
"Autonomous driving is one of the most revolutionary trends for us right now and the entire Daimler Group is working very hard on it. As always at Daimler, our top priority is safety. Instead of individual and autonomous solutions, we want to develop a reliable global system offering significant added value to customers. By working with the right partners, we want to make significant progress in improving the performance of this technology and bringing it safely to the road. "
Klaus Fröhlich, member of the executive board of BMW AG, added:
"While pursuing our strategy, we combine the expertise of two technology leaders. At BMW Group, long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable and non-exclusive platform are essential to advance the industrialization of autonomous driving. The combination of key competences of our two companies will strengthen our strength of innovation and accelerate the diffusion of this technology ",
Previously, the two companies had announced several other partnerships with others regarding self-driving.
BMW collaborated with Intel's Mobileye and Delphi on autonomous driving and also invested in the Nauto self-driving startup.
As for Daimler, he previously announced his association with Bosch to create level 4 and 5 autonomous driving systems.
I'm not surprised that we were witnessing more consolidation on the front of self-driving.
This is a crucial element of the future of the industry and I think many companies are afraid to miss the mark, because the first to offer a powerful and safe system has a considerable advantage.
At present, companies have invested more than $ 80 billion in self-driving technologies. Although we hear about some more often than others, there is still no clear leader.