BMW, Daimler start R&D collaboration on automated driving

BMW, Daimler start R&D collaboration on automated driving

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The BMW Group and Daimler with its Mercedes Brand intend to jointly develop the next generation of technologies for driver assistance systems and automated driving on motorways as well as automated parking functions (up to SAE Level 4 in each case). In addition, the partners intend to fathom out whether it will meke sense to extend the scope of cooperation to higher levels of automation for urban areas and cities in the future. The long-term cooperation is not exclusive and open to further OEM and technology partners. The results of the cooperation will also be offered to other OEMs for licensing.

From 2024 onwards, jointly developed systems will be available in series passenger cars for private customers. Each company will implement the results of the development cooperation individually in its products. More than 1,200 experts will work together within the framework of the cooperation, some of them in mixed teams. The locations include the BMW Group Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleissheim near Munich, the Mercedes Benz Technology Center (MTC) in Sindelfingen and the Daimler Test and Technology Center in Immendingen. The tasks include designing a scalable architecture for driver assistance systems including sensors, setting up a joint computer center for storing, managing and processing data, and developing functions and software.

Safety First for Automated Driving

In the recently published cross-industry white paper “Safety First for Automated Driving”, BMW and Daimler, together with Aptiv, Audi, Baidu, Continental, Fiat Chrysler, HERE, Infineon, Intel and Volkswagen, also examined the topic of safety. The publication summarizes all relevant safety methods for automated driving according to SAE Level 3 and Level 4 and introduces a method of traceability. This ranges from the primary goal – safer than the average driver – to the individual safety goals of the respective components.

BMW has been working for some time on highly automated driving and has established a platform with technology partners Intel, Mobileye and Delphi for the development to series maturity. Fiat Chrysler is also participating in this project.

Since 2017 BMW has been bundling the corresponding development activities at its Autonomous Driving Campus in Unterschleißheim. A specific feature is the scalable technology approach from level 2 to 4, which should enable a high degree of flexibility and sustainability. Worldwide, the latest state of technology is currently being tested on the road with more than 70 test vehicles. The vehicles collect information to further improve the technology through machine learning with artificial intelligence in virtual simulation and test new functions from SAE Level 2 to Level 5 on the road. The currently developed technology generation will go into series production for the first time in 2021 in BMW’s super sports car iNEXT with level 3 and will be qualified for pilot projects with level 4.

Daimler AG has also been working intensively for some time on series development projects both for concrete Level 3 vehicles and for Level 4/5 vehicles. In San José in Silicon Valley, the first pilot for tests by Mercedes-Benz and Bosch for self-propelled vehicles (Level 4/5) in urban areas will be launched in 2019. This represents a further milestone in the existing cooperation between the two partners and will allow the collaboration to continue as planned. At the beginning of the coming decade, Mercedes-Benz will launch both highly automated (Level 3) and fully automated (Level 4/5) vehicles on the market.  As the only OEM in the world whose portfolio covers the entire vehicle spectrum from passenger cars to vans, buses and trucks, Daimler considers itself to be ideally positioned for all relevant applications of autonomous driving. 


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