BMW boosts self-drive tech in China via deal with Tencent

July 22,2019

THE BMW Group is set to use a new platform for its self-driving technologies.

The development, bared by the carmaker in a statement posted on its news site, comes as BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd. and Tencent agreed to work together on building what is called the BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform.

The deal allowing this — signed late last week in Beijing — will see BMW Group use the D³ platform to develop automated driving technologies and products which suit local traffic conditions.

The D³, standing for Data-Driven Development, provides the base for the development of highly (Level 3) and fully (Level 4) automated driving functions. In the deal Tencent will provide IT architecture, tools and platforms for automated driving research and development.

BMW said the D³ platform should be ready before the year ends.

The carmaker added that before it starts production of Level 3 vehicles in 2021, the platform will be used for safety validation of Level 3 and the early-stage study of Level 4 technologies. After 2021, the platform will assist the post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 technologies.

“Our ultimate goal is to make the car safer than the human driver through greater automation. Safety is paramount to us. We therefore need to process a lot of data for simulation, testing and validation. The launch of the D³ platform in China is the next big step for us along this path,” said BMW Group senior vice president for automated driving Alejandro Vukotich.

BMW Group Region China president and CEO Jochen Goller noted “China is at the forefront of automated driving development,” and so the collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will “set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation.”

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