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      06-19-2020, 07:21 AM   #1
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BMW and Mercedes-Benz put autonomous driving development cooperation on hold

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Interesting to read today that the cooperation between BMW and Mercedes-Benz on automated driving technologies has been halted, although may resume in the future.

Strange though as the release also says that both companies are free to link up with new partners in the future too.

Quote:
The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG are putting their cooperation on development of next-generation technology for automated driving temporarily on hold. Following extensive review, the two companies have arrived at a mutual and amicable agreement to concentrate on their existing development paths – which may also include working with current or new partners. Both explicitly wished to emphasise that cooperation may be resumed at a later date and that the two organisations’ underlying approach to matters such as safety and customer benefits in the field of automated driving remains highly compatible.

The BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG are both working separately on current generations for highly-automated driving and have achieved major progress in this field in the past. However, the BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG were unable to hold detailed expert discussions and talk to suppliers about technology roadmaps until the contract was signed last year. In these talks – and after extensive review – both sides concluded that, in view of the expense involved in creating a shared technology platform, as well as current business and economic conditions, the timing is not right for successful implementation of the cooperation.

“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.”

Markus Schäfer, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz AG; responsible for Daimler Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars COO: “Our expertise complements that of the BMW Group very well, as our successful collaborations have proved. Next to decarbonisation, 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 underlined that they would continue working in close cooperation in the remaining fields as planned. In 2015, the two companies joined with Audi AG to acquire the location and technology platform HERE, which now has a very broad and international shareholder structure. In early 2019, the BMW Group and Daimler AG also pooled their mobility services in a joint venture under the umbrella of the NOW family.
Source: https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/globa...n-in-automated
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      06-19-2020, 09:09 AM   #2
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Both companies giving themselves maximum flexibility.

The pandemic has caused global weirdness and flexibility is good at this time.

Automated driving, or whatever anyone wants to call it, is not a consumer-driven technology in my mind. It will be very slow to mature, unless it is accelerated by legislation.
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      06-19-2020, 09:48 AM   #3
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Cash is king these days and companies are cutting or delaying on superfluous projects and initiatives to conserve resources.
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      06-19-2020, 10:32 AM   #4
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Not a superfluos project, the whole industry of established car manufacturers, including BMW and MB, are seriously worried of the lead that Tesla have with this technology, if anything the gap is widening. VW chairman recently expressed his concerns for the VW group on this subject.

https://electrek.co/2020/04/27/vw-ad...leak-internal/
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Last edited by nublu2u; 06-19-2020 at 10:37 AM..
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      06-19-2020, 12:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nublu2u View Post
Not a superfluos project, the whole industry of established car manufacturers, including BMW and MB, are seriously worried of the lead that Tesla have with this technology, if anything the gap is widening. VW chairman recently expressed his concerns for the VW group on this subject.

https://electrek.co/2020/04/27/vw-ad...leak-internal/
That may be it, but here in the US and I am sure in most industrialized nations, the legal implications of autonomous driving are far and wide. The technology might be there and the will but the US is not ready to support self driving cars. Our roads are in state of disrepair and again the legal implications I am sure keep most auto executives up at night including Musk.

With 42 million unemployed in the US, and counting, worst numbers since the depression of the early 1930s, worst pandemic in a century and a volatile and charged political, racial and civil climate, trust me, car autonomy is the last of our worries at the moment.
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      06-19-2020, 01:02 PM   #6
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"Lead, follow, or get out-of-the-way!"

BMW/MB have decided to follow
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      06-20-2020, 01:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530iDriver View Post
That may be it, but here in the US and I am sure in most industrialized nations, the legal implications of autonomous driving are far and wide. The technology might be there and the will but the US is not ready to support self driving cars. Our roads are in state of disrepair and again the legal implications I am sure keep most auto executives up at night including Musk.

With 42 million unemployed in the US, and counting, worst numbers since the depression of the early 1930s, worst pandemic in a century and a volatile and charged political, racial and civil climate, trust me, car autonomy is the last of our worries at the moment.
Agreed it's not superfluous but it's also a long term investment before any real returns are seen.

Oems and startups are optimizing their spend these days to focus on nearer term projects that can net them the cash flow they need to continue to fund adas technologies.

Doesn't mean they don't care or its not important. It just makes business sense to reduce cash burn in areas that won't return profit for a long time.
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      06-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M TOWN View Post
"Lead, follow, or get out-of-the-way!"

BMW/MB have decided to follow
The leaders in the autonomous vehicle landscape are Waymo (Google), Cruise (GM), Argo AI (Ford & VW), Aurora, Tesla, Baidu and others. BMW/MB were already behind and followers.
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      06-22-2020, 12:12 PM   #9
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Perhaps BMW prefers to partner with Porsche. Only time will tell.
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      06-23-2020, 02:39 PM   #10
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Mercedes announcement today.

Mercedes-Benz partners with Nvidia on upgradable vehicles starting in 2024

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/23/merc...ndroidappshare
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      06-23-2020, 07:19 PM   #11
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BMW is also planning to eliminate 6,000 jobs.

https://www.brusselstimes.com/all-ne...ffs-worldwide/
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