BMW and Daimler are exploring a long-term strategic partnership, where both companies intend to jointly develop technologies for driver assistance systems and highly automated driving on highways (SAE Level 3 and Level 4) to be market ready by mid-2020.
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 plan is also to create a scalable platform for automated driving. Both companies are open for additional partnerships with other technology companies and automotive manufacturers that could contribute to the success of the platform.
2019 will see Daimler launching its pilot programme in San José, Silicon Valley, with Bosch, on self-driving vehicles (Levels 4/5) in urban environments. As for BMW, work has been going on since 2017 at the Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim, just north of Munich. A new software is being used at the Campus to speed up development of the platform. Around the world, more than 70 test vehicles are doing trail runs of the 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. BMW also said that the next generation of technologies that is currently under development will go into series production as Level 3 automation in 2021 in the iNEXT where it will also be Level 4 enabled for pilot projects.