Until Recently, such partnerships almost unimaginable: a BMW engineer didn’t need any help, certainly not from the arch-rival Daimler. Now, however, the two premium manufacturers due to growing competition from Silicon Valley, the shoulder-to-shoulder, and in the future want to make in the development of Autonomous driving systems is a common thing. The answers to the important questions.

What is planned?

The two bitter rivals check, apparently, an extensive cooperation in the Autonomous Driving . Daimler development chief Ola Källenius and BMW CEO Harald Krüger might have led talks, reported the “Handelsblatt” from circles of the two companies. Would be considered a merger of the development activities. Even patents could put the two companies competing each other in the open. The aim is to reduce the multi-billion dollar development costs, and to develop a common industry standard. BMW and Daimler have announced for 2021, the tracks at least on the car temporarily Autonomous driving.


the two car makers will want to work closer to the subject battery cells for electric cars . Daimler will also refer to how BMW its energy storage of CATL. The market for electric cars is tense. The raw material costs will rise, because the demand of cells is high. Just three manufacturers dominate the business: CATL in China, LG Chem in the Rest of the world, and Panasonic as a Partner of Toyota and Tesla. Perhaps the two German premium manufacturers want to counter with their common Alliance to the battery giants from China with one voice, because CATL required part of hefty prices.

Why to go, the two rival each other?

Both the heads of Daimler, as well as a BMW, it should be clear that the best years of the German noble manufacturer are for the time being, over. The paragraphs are stagnant, profits are shrinking, stock prices are permanently low.

The challenges are great, because Autonomous driving could threaten the end of robot cars, the business model of both a premium manufacturer radically. Because if the driver will be replaced by new technologies, would rides the according to experts, the cost of a taxi in a city by 70 percent. If it is in need in such a scenario, even BMW or Daimler, is questionable.

so Far, the two premium brands are struggling on their own account, in order to prevent the. BMW works together with Intel and Ford, and has invested billions in the development of a self-driving vehicle that can get by 2021 on motorways long distances without a driver. Daimler has closed for a similar project with Bosch.

However, the currently discussed cooperation of the two luxury brands would go far beyond all previous projects. Perhaps the two manufacturers also use a bit of their uniqueness on the game. Because of the mobility concepts of the future, it is not about engine performance and driving fun, but safety and networking. “If there’s a Daimler-star or BMW’s Propeller on it, will not be so important,” said auto expert Stefan Bratzel, most recently, the “Handelsblatt”.

German economy Minister Peter Altmaier hopes that the German car industry will occupy a leading position in Autonomous Driving. “We have all the Knowledge about how to construct a car, how to solve technical problems,” said the CDU politician on Monday on the innovation conference DLD in Munich. The would now have to be with data and artificial intelligence are linked. “My Ambition is that Germany should be in front.”

What are the competitors are there?

The German manufacturers have increasingly strong competitors in the Silicon Valley such as Google, a subsidiary of Waymo investing To billion in the development of Autonomous. The company wants to build the cars, but the operating system for self-driving cars to deliver. Thus, Google could set the Standard for Autonomous vehicles.

the Chinese counterpart Baidu could be the German manufacturers to be dangerous. The Chinese put in the Apollo-project is also an open platform, which can be the operating system for the industry as a whole, a “Android for Autonomous Driving”. Around 90 partners, the Apollo Initiative now, including Ford, Microsoft, and other big names.

In the future it will go to who uses what platform. If BMW and Daimler now jointly develop an industry standard for Autonomous Driving, increases the Chance of these in Europe or the USA to enforce. However, this is likely to be difficult, because even an Alliance of Daimler and BWW would probably be too small to against large volume manufacturer to arrive.

How other manufacturers respond to the new competitors?

other car manufacturers are forging alliances in order to assert itself on the market for robot vehicles. Volkswagen has recently announced the cooperation with the US-Startup, the Aurora, the Autonomous driver assistance systems have been developed. Together they wanted to bring self-driving cars on the market. Also, the Korean manufacturer Hyundai has signed a partnership with Aurora.

Toyota is currently investing millions in ride service Uber, to the development of self-advancing-moving cars. Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi have announced that by 2022, according to his own statements 15 semi-Autonomous vehicles, and fully Autonomous cars.

Opel-native PSA was already in 2017, in cooperation with the US Start-up nuTonomy to develop Autonomous vehicles. Currently, the company is already testing the first self-driving cars in Singapore.

the cooperation between BMW and Daimler Is unique?

Also if you are going to give to the outside as a hard competitors – BMW and Daimler are cooperating for years in various areas. For the manufacturer are too small to build all of the vehicle components themselves, to develop or to buy. Together much money you can save.

Open the corporations don’t talk like that about the Details, because you want to be perceived as independent. Not much is, for example, the purchasing cooperation, the companies are known, which exists since 2008. First of all, you acquired together in the United States and China, in order to reduce costs. It was belt roller, power Windows and air-conditioning systems – all parts, the driver does not see. Added to this were the tires, seat frames and small parts such as wire harness connector or belt tensioners, which are found in the same or similar Form in Mercedes cars and BMWs.

a Little more talkative manufacturers are the big issues for the future. For car sharing, Parking space finder, electric mobility and BMW and Daimler have founded even a Joint Venture. So the short-term want to merge rental car provider Car2Go (Daimler) and DriveNow (BMW). A common App is supposed to combine the offer with other services such as bike rental, taxi search, or information on public transportation. Together, the companies want to reach six million users.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.