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BMW, Mercedes break off Self Driving Partnership
- June 25, 2020
- William Payne
BMW and Mercedes have ended their partnership to develop self driving technology. The companies blamed the cost and complexity of joint development of a shared autonomous vehicle platform. Management processes had also delayed collaboration between technical specialists.
The two companies have characterised the split as “mutual and amicable”. They say that they may renew the partnership in the future.
The announcement comes as Volkswagen and Ford announced they were deepening collaboration, including on self driving technologies.
The partnership between BMW and Mercedes to build a self driving platform is less than a year old. The two companies announced their partnership in July 2019. They set themselves the goal of selling self driving cars by 2024.
BMW and Mercedes are still partners in other areas relating to connected and self driving cars. Both companies are partners, together with Audi, in owning digital mapping firm Here.
“We have systematically further developed our technology and scalable platform with partners like Intel, Mobileye, FCA and Ansys,” said Klaus Fröhlich, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, responsible for Development. “Our current technology generation offers very strong, sustainable potential: With extremely powerful sensors and computing power, our robust modular system puts us in an excellent position to offer our customers what they need for many years.”
Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO, said: “Our expertise complements that of the BMW Group very well, as our successful collaborations have proved. Next to decarbonisation, digitalisation is a major strategic pillar for Mercedes-Benz. To prepare for the future challenges of a rapidly changing environment, we are currently also sounding out other possibilities with partners outside the automotive sector.”