Automotive manufacturers joining forces to develop the future's self-driving electric cars

BMW and Daimler are teaming up to develop almost autonomous vehicles by 2024.

Seeing as there is strength in numbers, partnerships between big auto manufacturers who are hoping to get in on the self-driving, all-electric revolution are becoming more and more common.

German titans BMW and Daimler offiicalized their deal this week. The two manufacturers are teaming up to develop a host of technologies that should help make cars that can handle highway driving and parking functions autonomously a reality by 2024. Their objective is to release a Level-4 car by that date, meaning a vehicle that can take upon certain driving functions, leaving the driver free to concentrate on other things besides the road. Other cases will nonetheless require human intervention. As part of the deal, the two manufacturers will remain free to implement their other technologies independently from one another in their series models.

For their part, Volkswagen and Ford will strengthen their existing collaboration and expand it to the fields of electrification and autonomous driving. Volkswagen, which has already deployed its Modular electric drive matrix (MEB) platform across a set of its models (the Audi Q4 e-tron and Seat Mii and el-Born among them), could share its expertise with Argo AI, the Ford branch dedicated to self-driving tech. This agreement should be formalized throughout the summer and should not interfere with the programs already in place on both sides.

Note that a number of other partnerships have already been established to help with the development of similar projects, such as the 2018 General Motors-Honda deal, as part of which the parties are collaborating on research into new lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.