BMW, Daimler to pool resources on automated driving technology

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Daimler and BMW to deepen their alliance on Thursday to share development costs for a highly automated driving technologies, even if every car manufacturer continues to pursue separate efforts for the development of fully self-driving cars.

Harald Kruger, CEO and Chairman of the Board of management of BMW AG, Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler AG, attend a press conference to present plans for combining the companies’ car-sharing companies, in Berlin, Germany, February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

The rising cost of the design and construction of computer-driven vehicles has already asked Honda to pool its efforts with General Motors, while Volkswagen conducts discussions with Ford about an alliance on autonomous cars.

BMW and Daimler on Thursday said they will jointly develop a scalable architecture for different stages of automation including the technology can be automated by driving on the highways.

“In the first instance the focus will be on promoting the development of the next generation of technologies for driver assistance, automated driving on freeways and parking spaces,” the companies said in a joint press release.

The market for advanced driver assistance systems and autonomous vehicles is expected to grow by about $3 billion in 2015 to $96 billion in 2025 and $290 billion in 2035, according to Goldman Sachs.

“In addition, the two partners want to discuss the possibility of extending their cooperation to cover the higher levels of automation, both on the highways and in the urban areas,” the companies said on Thursday.

BMW and Daimler are already working together in the field of high-definition, allocation and procurement, and earlier this month unveiled a joint ride-origination, parking, and electric car charging business.

BMW and Daimler on Thursday said their new partnership will center on the so-called level 3 and level 4 automated driving technologies, including cars that still require steering wheels and drivers.

Daimler remains a separate development alliance for level 5 robotaxis between the luxury of the Mercedes-Benz brand and supplier of Robert Bosch. Level 5 cars which require no driver.

BMW, for its part, continues the development of the alliance for robotaxis with Israeli autonomous vehicle tech company Mobileye and chip maker Intel, with the goal of putting autonomous cars on the road by 2021.

Reporting by Edward Taylor; editing by Thomas Seythal and Ludwig Burger

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