BMW China Automotive Trading Ltd. and Tencent signed an agreement in Beijing on Friday, 19 July to work together on building the BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform. The BMW Group will use the platform to develop automated driving technologies and products which suit the complex local traffic conditions and meet local customer demands.
Alejandro Vukotich, Senior Vice President Automated Driving, was also at the ceremony, which marked another important milestone towards automated driving: “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 – Data-Driven Development – platform in China is the next big step for us along this path.”
Moreover “China is at the forefront of automated driving development, and we aim to play a pioneering role in this area,” said Mr. Jochen Goller, President and CEO of BMW Group Region China. “The collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation. The BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform will allow us to develop autonomous driving solutions that represent a better fit for the specific driving scenarios in China.”
“Tencent is committed to assisting automotive companies in the digital transformation,” added Mr. Dowson Tong, President of Tencent Cloud & Smart Industry. “The collaboration between Tencent and BMW Group has deepened over the past year or so, which proves BMW’s recognition of Tencent’s technical strength in the fields of cloud computing, big data, security and AI. We hope that with the continuous deepening of cooperation between the two parties, we can create a new model and a new benchmark for cooperation between Chinese technology companies and international automotive companies. We also look forward to providing more assistance to the localization of international first-class automotive companies in China.”
The BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform should be set up and ready to begin operations by the end of this year. The “D³” in the new IT platform’s name stands for Data-Driven Development, which forms the basis for the development of highly (Level 3) and fully (Level 4) automated driving functions.
Before the BMW Group commences series production of Level 3 vehicles in 2021, the platform will be used mainly for safety validation of Level 3 and the early-stage study of Level 4 technologies. After 2021, the platform will assist both the post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 technologies.
Tencent will provide IT architecture, tools and platforms across the field of automated driving research and development. Both partners will comply strictly with Chinese laws and regulations on data security, prevent data security risks and ensure data compliance using Tencent’s security expertise.