BMW and Daimler, the German automaker that owns Mercedes-Benz on Thursday tied the knot by cooperating on advanced next-generation driver-assistance technologies to pave the way for self-driving cars. Long term, the partnership between the two former foes will help bring Level 3, 4, and 5 self-driving cars to market. Level 5 self-driving cars are fully autonomous and never require input from the human behind the wheel.
Both BMW and Daimler said the new partnership is key to reduce development times to bring safety technologies to market, and eventually, self-driving cars for consumers. The automakers also said they look forward to sharing each other's skills and expertise in the area. BMW has worked on automated systems since 2006 and ramped up work in 2017. The company plans to introduce a Level 3 self-driving car in the form of its iNext SUV, which is planned for production in 2021. Meanwhile, Daimler will launch a pilot program for self-driving cars in Silicon Valley for Level 4 and 5 autonomous cars this year.
Daimler said that early next decade it plans to offer Level, 3, 4, and 5 self-driving cars.
The two plan to create a scalable architecture to cover various self-driving technologies. Levels 3 and 4 will focus on highway driving, and in the future, the partnership will expand to tackle Level 5 self-driving cars in urban environments. Both added they're open to discussions with other companies and firms to help make the partnership successful in realizing the goals.
The new partnership will not affect any other areas of either's business and work on current-generation technologies will remain separate.