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BMW accelerates autonomous driving research

German automaker BMW said it is accelerating development in the field of autonomous driving in China, laying foundation for the 5G era.

German automaker BMW said it is accelerating development of autonomous driving in China, laying foundation for the 5G era.

The company said on Friday that it had teamed up with three Chinese companies, namely, China Unicom, Tencent and NavInfo. The company also plans to conduct the Level-4 (L4) autonomous driving pilot fleet test globally, including China. 

The cooperation between BMW and China Unicom will cover 5G communications, which is an important and faster communication method for self-driving vehicles. 

BMW and Tencent will set up a data-driven development platform within the year. The platform will be mainly used for the verification and evaluation of L3 autonomous driving features and safety, and support research and development of L4.

The collaboration between BMW and NavInfo will lie in High definition map. NavInfo  is one of China’s leading providers of location-based service and a long-term partner of BMW Group in China. 

Jochen Goller, president and chief executive officer of BMW Group Region China, said: “We are convinced that China is already at the forefront of defining future mobility. BMW will actively leverage our comprehensive research and development competency to support smart mobility and smart city development in China. Together with our Chinese partners, we are jointly shaping the future of mobility.” 

In 2021, BMW iNEXT will offer L3 autonomous driving and will be technically capable of L4 autonomous driving. It will also support full connection to 5G network. After the launch of the vehicle, the company will begin the L4 autonomous pilot test program in China.

BMW said that China has the most complex traffic in the world. BMW has nearly 100 engineers and professionals in Shanghai and Beijing, with a focus on development and validation of automated driving based on typical traffic scenarios in China.

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