The word is out: BMW and Daimler will work together on autonomous driving. The pressure to cooperate has been there for some time and is becoming stronger. So much so that former competitors have joined forces to have a future at all. This is also the case for Germany’s powerful automobile industry. In January, an announcement was made about an alliance on the subject of autonomous driving.
Ford & VW
Already last year the two manufacturers Ford and VW indicated a possible cooperation. Now it has become known that this will in fact happen. The German manufacturer VW will buy from Argo AI. The start-up, which is working on autonomous driving for Ford, will receive 600 million US dollars from Volkswagen, which corresponds to around 530 million Euros. A further 1.1 billion US dollars (around 970 million Euros) is to be provided as a financial bolster. This meant that Volkswagen as a partner was already taken.
BMW and Mercedes-Benz
Shortly after the news that VW would be joining Ford’s Argo AI, the two manufacturers BMW and Mercedes-Benz announced that they would jointly work on the development of the self-driving vehicle.
First of all, they want to bring together developments in the field of assistance systems, autonomous driving on motorways and autonomous parking. Later, the focus will be on the development of autonomous driving itself and the introduction of vehicles in urban traffic. However, previous projects are still to be continued separately. The new cooperation between the two competitors is therefore rather a long-term commitment.
This development is definitely a sensation within the sector. But working together on this has many advantages. First and foremost, it is expected to reduce development and research costs. In addition, there is a shortage of skilled personnel and the labor market for experts in this field is empty. In addition, this should speed up the technological development.
And this last aspect is most certainly necessary, seeing as Waymo, the industry leader, is already on the market in the USA with his robot taxi service. Waymo is already planning to expand further this year and General Motors also has plans to launch such a service in 2019. In addition, more and more start-ups are entering the market. The competition is on - so cooperation seems to be the right answer.
About the author:
David Flora is journalist and owner of the digital magazine “Autonomes Fahren & Co”. He is reporting regularly about trends and technologies in the fields Autonomous Driving, HMI, Telematics and Robotics. Link to his site: www.autonomes-fahren.de