BMW seeking partnership for developing self driving cars

BMW is seeking partner companies for developing self driving technology. The German carmaker expects the future market for autonomous vehicles to be worth billions and has set goals to be a market leader. But it wants to expand its technological know-how by acquiring or teaming up with tech companies while simultaneously seeking in-house talent, head of development Klaus Fröhlich said recently in an interview.

He didn’t mention which companies he is interested in, but start-ups are among the most likely. It wouldn’t be BMW’s first purchase in the self driving car market. Last year the company acquired a stake in the real-time maps unit Here, together with other German automakers Daimler and Volkswagen’s daughter Audi, while BMW owned venture capital company iVentures bought RideCell, an American based start-up specializing in ride sharing services.


The carmaker is very ambitious. As early as 2021 the first fully autonomous BMW should hit the roads. Also, it has plans to make the ‘most intelligent’ self driving car, beating the likes of Google, Apple, Tesla and many traditional carmakers all striving for a piece of the self driving car pie.

According to the Bavarian multinational whichever company is able to offer ride sharing with self driving cars first and cheaply, will most likely dominate the market. “It’s a business proposition worth billions in profits that will cost billions to develop”, Fröhlich told news agency Bloomberg. “We definitely need partners in this area, and we massively need to build out in-house resources too.”

Author: Tom van Gurp

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