About a year ago, BMW, Intel and (then independent) technology company Mobileye announced a strategic collaboration to develop a platform for highly automated driving. In the meantime, suppliers Continental and Denso also joined the group in their role as system integrators. The platform to be developed is also to be offered to third parties.
“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne according to a homonymic statement distributed by BMW and Intel. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”
The cooperation said it is on track to deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by year-end 2017. The group also hopes to benefit from leveraging data and findings from the recently-announced level 4 test fleet of Intel subsidiary Mobileye. These findings will help to boost the scale effect of the project.
“Besides excellence in development, the scalability of the platform is key to success of the cooperation”, said BMW CEO Harald Krüger. Experts regard the partnership as a measure to share the development costs in the billion-euro range among multiple participants. BMW rival Daimler has established a close cooperation with supplier Bosch for the same purpose.