There’s a lot of talk about self-driving cars these days, and experts have differing opinions about when exactly autonomous vehicle technology will be accessible to consumers. But a new partnership between BMW and Daimler may drive autonomous vehicles to reality sooner rather than later.
According to a news release from BMW, this recently-announced partnership between The BMW Group and Daimler AG is geared toward “advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways, and parking features.”
The two companies have long been working on innovating in the automated driving space, and leaders at both BMW and Daimler view their new alliance as an important step in accelerating and streamlining the development of autonomous vehicles.
“Why does this alliance make sense? The answer is simple: Because automated driving is a future-oriented technology that will radically transform our industry — and because in the long run we will be not only stronger but also more successful as partners than we would be alone,” said Daimler’s Michael Hafner in a recent blog post.
Through this long-term strategic cooperation, leaders of BMW and Daimler aim to have automated technologies market-ready and widely available by the mid 2020s.
One particular thing that makes this partnership interesting is that fact that Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans are two business segments of Daimler, and Mercedes-Benz and BMW are direct competitors. According to Hafner, that won’t change.
“One thing is clear: BMW and Mercedes-Benz are competitors — and we will stay competitors,” Hafner said. “Our competition has been a major factor that has repeatedly spurred us to deliver top performance and put both of us at the leading edge of the premium segment. The partnership we are announcing today will not become a new joint venture…Instead, we are planning to work together with BMW to develop a scalable and reliable platform that will bring optimal benefits to the customers of both brands.”
The fact that these innovative competitors have forged an alliance to pioneer autonomy is an exciting reminder for automotive experts and enthusiasts alike: the future that automakers once only dreamed of is upon us now.