Global automakers BMW and Daimler will
join forces in a new long-term partnership
to co-develop automated driving
technologies, including levels of automation
all the way up to SAE Level 4, which is
defined as full self-driving, no human
intervention required, but only under exactly
defined conditions or domains – steering
wheel and brakes not necessarily even
present I the car.

This BMW/Daimler partnership includes
developing automated driving technologies
that precede Level 4, too, including
advanced driver assistance features like
smart cruise control and automated parking.
And while it isn’t in scope of this specific
arrangement, the two car makers also say
that talks continue about expanding their
cooperation to cover highly-automated
driving within denser urban areas and in city
driving conditions.

It’s a non-exclusive arrangement, which is
the new normal in autonomous vehicle
technology development, where cross-
manufacturer partnerships have been
increasingly common, and where we’ve also
seen legacy automakers turn with fair
frequency to startups and younger
technology companies to supplement their
in-house development efforts.

Daimler and BMW aim to develop a
“scalable platform for automated driving”
through their combined efforts, which the
companies say is open for participation
form both other automakers and tech
providers. The resulting platform will also
be made available to other OEMs under
license.

Independently, Daimler is currently working
on deploying its first Level 4/Level 5 self-
driving vehicle pilot program in an urban
environment in partnership with Bosch, and
aims to have that operational this year.
BMW’s next big automated driving push will
be alongside its iNEXT lines of vehicles,
with Level 3 technologies targeted release
along with the first of those models in
2021. Both partners expect to implement
the results of this partnership specifically in
their own respective model series vehicles
beginning in 2024, however.