BMW China Automotive Trading and Tencent signed an agreement in Beijing on Friday to work together on building the BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform. The BMW Group will use the platform to develop automated driving technologies and products that suit the complex local traffic conditions and meet local customer demands.

Alejandro Vukotich, Senior Vice President for Automated Driving, was at the ceremony and noted, “Our ultimate goal is to make the car safer than the human driver through greater automation. Safety is paramount to us. We therefore need to process a lot of data for simulation, testing, and validation. The launch of the D³ (Data-Driven Development) platform in China is the next big step for us along this path.”

“China is at the forefront of automated driving development, and we aim to play a pioneering role in this area,” said Mr. Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China. “The collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation. The BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform will allow us to develop autonomous driving solutions that represent a better fit for the specific driving scenarios in China.”

“The collaboration between Tencent and BMW Group has deepened over the past year or so, which proves BMW’s recognition of Tencent’s technical strength in the fields of cloud computing, big data, security, and AI,” added Mr. Dowson Tong, President of Tencent Cloud & Smart Industry. “We hope that with the continuous deepening of cooperation between the two parties, we can create a new model and a new benchmark for cooperation between Chinese technology companies and international automotive companies.”

The platform should be set up and ready to begin operations by the end of this year. The D³ in the new IT platform’s name forms the basis for the development of highly (SAE Level 3) and fully (Level 4) automated driving functions.

Before the BMW Group commences series production of Level 3 vehicles in 2021, the platform will be used mainly for safety validation of Level 3 and the early-stage study of Level 4 technologies. After 2021, the platform will assist both the post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 technologies.

Tencent will provide IT architecture, tools, and platforms across the field of automated driving research and development. Both partners will comply strictly with Chinese laws and regulations on data security, prevent data security risks, and ensure data compliance using Tencent’s security expertise.