BMW, Daimler join forces to advance mobility services and AV technology
Autonomous Vehicle Technology announces 2020 ACES Award Winner in Mobility Services | Autonomy category
In the space of just a few days in February, German luxury car rivals BMW Group and Daimler AG shook the industry in announcing partnerships on both mobility services and AV technology. The big news put an exclamation point on the challenges presented by new mobility technology and the need for partnering at the highest level to accelerate technology and share the resource burdens of development. On the mobility services front, the two groups are pooling their resources and investing more than €1 billion to develop and more closely intermesh their offerings in five joint ventures: REACH NOW for multimodal services, CHARGE NOW for charging, FREE NOW for taxi ride-hailing, PARK NOW for parking, and SHARE NOW for carsharing. The strategic step combines 14 brands into a network aimed at shaping current and future urban mobility and drawing maximum benefit from opportunities in digitalization, shared services, and the increasing mobility needs of their customers. The five services merged into a single mobility-services portfolio to advance an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously and interconnect with other modes of transport. Options for further cooperation with other providers, including stakes in startups and established players, are possibilities. For automated driving, the companies will focus on advancing the development of next-generation technologies for driver-assistance systems, automated driving on highways, and parking features (up to SAE Level 4). The aim is to make next-level technologies widely available by the mid-2020s. The joint development work will be conducted via a scalable architecture covering several stages of automation, with Levels 3 and 4 enabling automated driving on highways. In addition, the two partners plan to discuss the possibility of extending their collaboration to cover higher levels of automation, both on highways and in urban areas.
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