BMW, Tencent Partner on Self-Driving Cars for China
BMW AG and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are collaborating on autonomous-vehicle technology for the Chinese market.
The companies plan to open a computing center, reportedly in Tianjin, China, by the end of 2019 to help enable semi- and fully autonomous driving capabilities in properly equipped vehicles. Tencent’s cloud platform will be used to link the vehicles and computing center.
The system being developed by the partners is called the BMW Group China High Performance D3 Platform. BMW has said it plans to introduce vehicles capable of Level 3 autonomous driving, meaning cars that can drive themselves under most conditions but also require a human to intervene if necessary.
Reuters notes that BMW opened a similar computing center earlier this year in Munich.
Driverless vehicles need access to huge computing power to perform real-time analysis of inputs about the vehicle’s position, surrounding objects and the movement of nearby traffic and pedestrians. Robotic cars which can tap the power of artificial intelligence will be able to quickly “learn” from their own experiences and those of other self-driving vehicles.
China’s central government wants to begin large-scale use of partially automated vehicles in 2020. The aim is to make 10% of vehicles sold in the county in 2030 to be capable of fully autonomous driving.
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