The rumor mill around the German cooperation has been running for a while, but Mercedes-Benz and BMW finally confirm it themselves: the two rivals will join forces to develop autonomous driving technologies.
Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler and BMW have been talking about a new collaboration for quite some time now, preparing for a billions deal on autonomous driving. That now appears to be true, because both brands share their future plans together today, entering into a partnership for the development of new technologies in the field of driver assistance, autonomous driving on the motorway and parking assistance (autonomous level 4 or 5). BMW and Daimler say they have signed a letter of intent for the cooperation, so there seems to be no way back!
Only a few days ago, BMW Group and Daimler announced the details of another historic collaboration that unites car sharing, car rental, car parks and car charging, which have about 60 millions of customers globally.
Going back to the field of autonomous cars, BMW and Mercedes-Benz will work together to develop a scalable platform with technologies for driving assistance systems, automated driving on highways and parking functions up to level 4 of 5. In addition, the two producers intend to initiate discussions on the development of autonomous technologies to be used in the urban environment as well. In the long run, BMW and Mercedes-Benz do not rule out the possibility of accepting other carmakers or other technology companies in the collaboration.
Klaus Fröhlich, member of BMW’s board of directors, says that BMW and Daimler will each continue to follow their own strategy, but will combine the expertise in technology. “Combining the core expertise of our two companies will strengthen our innovative strength and accelerate the dissemination of this technology.” Future CEO of Mercedes-Benz, Ola Källenius, says he wants to work with the right partners to keep improving and ready the technology to make for the road. According to both brands, the cooperation has several advantages. For example, autonomous techniques are developed much faster with a faster market introduction.
The primary objective of the collaboration is that the new autonomous technologies are widely available by the middle of the next decade, ie around 2025.