The goal, according to a memorandum signed by BMW CEO Klaus Fröhlich and Daimler CEO Ola Källenius, is to put as many of these cars on the road as possible as quickly as possible. The BMW Vision iNext is already scheduled for sale in Europe by 2021 with SAE Level 3 automation. Mercedes is readying this system for the 2020 S-class and will launch a pilot test of Level 4 automated cars in San Jose, California, later this year. Both automakers, in a rare moment of humility, now admit they can’t refine the technology at such a rapid pace and to the point of Level 4 and 5 automation—where the industry imagines there will be no drivers—without a joint effort. The automakers said they will also consider partnering with more automakers and tech companies.
These efforts won’t involve the sharing of body platforms, powertrains, or anything else on the cars aside from sensors and software.
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