BMW, Daimler to Cooperate on Autonomous Cars

BMW AG and Daimler AG, which merged their mobility operations last week, have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop autonomous driving systems.

The companies aim to create a scalable architecture for Level 3 and 4 automated systems. The initial focus will be on next-generation driver assistance systems, technologies that enable automated highway driving and automatic parking features.
 

The partners aim to commercialize the technologies by about 2025. They also will consider expanding the partnership to include other products, including Level 5 self-driving cars for highway and city applications. The two companies say other carmakers could join the partnership later.

By working together, BMW and Mercedes aim to reduce development costs, foster innovation and speed time to market. The partnership won’t affect each company’s current programs or other technology alliances.

BMW previously has said it aims to launch Level 3 technology by 2021 in the iNext electric car. Mercedes plans to introduce similar systems early next decade.

The new deal follows an agreement announced last week between BMW and Daimler to merge their mobility operations. The resulting 50:50 venture combines their ride-hailing, parking and electric car-charging services.