BMW partnering with Tencent in self-driving technology
Jul 24, 2019 (China Knowledge) - The German luxury car manufacturer BMW is partnering with Chinese investment conglomerate Tencent Holdings to launch a platform to develop automated-driving technology and products tailored to local customers.
BMW said its platform will begin operations by the end of the year. Tencent will provide information technology architecture, tools, and platforms. The new platform will enable BMW to develop autonomous driving solutions that better fit the specific driving scenarios in China.
Automated vehicles are categorized into five levels ranging from level 1, for minimally automated "driver assistance," to level 5, for full-on self-driving vehicles. BMW plans to begin series production of level 3 vehicles in 2021, which can handle most tasks but still needs the driver at the ready, just in case. It will use the platform to study both level 3 and level 4 vehicles.
According to McKinsey & Co., China is expected to become the world's largest market for autonomous vehicles, and semi-autonomous vehicles could account for over 66% of passenger-kilometers there in 2040.
Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW in China, said that China is at the forefront of automated driving development, and the company looks to play a leading role in this area. The collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation.
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