BMW, Mercedes-Benz put automated driving partnership on hold

The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG announced that they are putting their development cooperation automated driving on hold in the meantime.

Despite the setback, the two German car brands said that they are both open to resuming the partnership sometime in the future.

After an extensive review of their respective situations, the two companies arrived at a “mutual and amicable agreement” to go their separate ways on autonomy for the moment. Now that the partnership fell through, both companies will forge their own path, with each open to the possibility of finding a new working partner for their separate autonomous vehicle plans.

“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.”

The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG are each working on highly-automated driving technologies and have achieved significant progress in this field in the past. However, the two carmakers were unable to hold detailed expert discussions and talk to suppliers about technology roadmaps until the contract was signed last year.

During these talks both sides concluded that the timing is not right for successful implementation of the cooperation.

“Our expertise complements that of the BMW Group very well, as our successful collaborations have proved,” said Markus Schäfer, COO of Mercedes-Benz Cars. “Next to de-carbonization, digitalization 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.”

Both companies also emphasized that they would continue working in close cooperation in the remaining fields stated in their partnership scope as planned, including plans for brand-specific shared mobility services.

Mercedes-Benz Philippines launched the Adapt x Innovate initiative to help its local dealerships transition to the ‘New Normal’ and ensure a “pandemic-proof environment” that reduces the risk of infection for its employees and customers alike.

Photos from BMW Group

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