Their plan is to go to levels of automation as high as SAE Level 4, which is considered as complete self-driving. No driver is at all required, and what we usually consider regular parts of a car, say a steering wheel and brakes, are not included in the vehicle.
There are very precisely defined conditions for SAE Level 4 vehicles.
What does this partnership include?
The development of Level 4 automated driving technologies will be a major focus for the two companies. The partnership looks to include advanced driver assistance features. Think automated parking and smart cruise control.
⚡🧲 Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) is a key prerequisite for connectivity, #selfdrivingcars, shared services and #eMobility. With the new test facility, @MercedesBenz takes an important step as a pioneer in the digitisation of the automotive industry - Thread 👇 pic.twitter.com/Df9xU1GHpg— Daimler AG (@Daimler) July 1, 2019
Even though it's not officially part of the deal, the two carmakers have also voiced that they are looking to expand their cooperation to include automated driving in denser urban areas, and for city driving conditions.
Daimler and BMW are looking to create a scalable platform for automated driving by working closely together on these projects. They are also open to working with other autonomous car companies, manufacturers, and tech companies.
What are the two companies each working on?
In partnership with Bosch, Daimler is working on launching their self-driving vehicle pilot program in an urban environment, with the hope that it will be operational before the end of the year.
BMW has also been working on its automated vehicles, with a focus on its iNext line of vehicles. The release of their model is looking to be 2021.
Together, the partnership expects to showcase their collaborative work in their own respective models by the start of 2024.