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BMW and Mercedes-Benz partner on next-gen autonomous vehicles

BMW and Daimler, Mercedes-Benz’s parent company, have announced a new partnership to work together on the development of next-gen autonomous vehicles.

The two German automakers recently announced a shared $1 billion investment in a program for all-electric on-demand autonomous mobility, but they have now also announced a new Memorandum of Understanding.

According to a joint press release, this new partnership will focus on “advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and parking features (up to SAE Level 4).”

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development said:

“Autonomous driving is one of the most revolutionary trends for us at the moment, and the entire Daimler Group is working very hard on it. As always at Daimler, our top priority is safety. Instead of individual, stand-alone solutions, we want to develop a reliable overall system that offers noticeable added-value for customers. Working with the right partners, we want to make significant advances in enhancing the performance of this technology and bring it safely on the road.”

Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, added:

“As we continue to pursue our strategy, we are combining the expertise of two technology leaders. At the BMW Group, long-term partnerships within a flexible, scalable, non-exclusive platform are fundamental to advancing the industrialisation of autonomous driving. Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology,”

Previously, the two companies announced several other partnerships with others when it comes to autonomous driving.

BMW has been working with Intel’s Mobileye and Delphi on autonomous driving and it also invested in self-driving startup Nauto.

As for Daimler, it previously announced that it was joining forces with Bosch to build level 4 and 5 autonomous driving systems.

Electrek’s Take

I am not surprised that we are seeing more consolidation on the self-driving front.

It is such a critical component of the future of the industry and I think many companies fear that they will miss the boat because the first to market with a successful and safe system has a significant advantage.

Companies have invested over $80 billion in self-driving tech at this point and while we hear about a few of them more often than others, there is still no clear leader.

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