Merc and BMW Self-Driving Cars by 2024

Image by Mercedes/BMW

Image by Mercedes/BMW

Two of the biggest luxury car rivals, Daimler AG and BMW AG, have joined forces to develop self-driving cars in a partnership to develop the next generation of autonomous-driving technology.

“Combining the key expertise of our two companies will boost our innovative strength and speed up the spread of this technology,” said Klaus Froehlich, BMW’s head of development.

The automakers have announced that they are developing cars capable of self-navigation without intervention from the driver, who will remain behind the wheel. These cars will be equipped with SAE Level 4, highly autonomous technology, where the vehicles will include driver assist and automated parking systems. 

The German car manufacturers announced that their joint development should be market-ready by 2024. To make this possible, BMW and Mercedes parent company Daimler will pool 1200 autonomous driving experts that will focus on building "driver assistance systems, including sensors, as well as a joint data center for data storage, administration and processing, and the development of functions and software," BMW Group said in a press release. They are also holding talks to extend the partnership to develop robo-taxi technology for urban areas.

Level 4 self-driving in 5 years would be a bold feat, as some snags with the technology have led to fatalities in the case of Uber and Tesla. We remain optimistic that the next decade will prove to change the course of the automotive industry in ways we have previously only been able to dream of.