BMW and Tencent to open self-driving car data center in China
German automaker BMW and Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings team up to launch a data center in China that will help develop self-driving cars in the world’s largest auto market, the companies said on Friday..
The data center, which will be operational by the end of the year, will provide vehicles with data processing functions to help them drive semi-autonomously and ultimately autonomously..
Both companies do not disclose information about investments in the center. Sources familiar with the deal said the center will be built in the eastern city of Tianjin..
The establishment of the center will contribute to the development and innovation of BMW in China, said Head of BMW China Jochen Goller.
«Thus, BMW can develop autonomous driving solutions that better suit the specific driving conditions in China.», – added top manager.
BMW said the new data center will leverage Tencent’s cloud computing and big data, which will provide the automaker with the infrastructure it needs to develop autonomous vehicles..
The Munich-based automaker says China is likely to enter semi-autonomous vehicles, or L3 classification, in 2021, which will require massive computing power to analyze digital traffic flow in real time..
Self-driving cars need a lot of data processing capabilities as they rely on so-called artificial intelligence or neural network technologies to help them «to study» empirically and ultimately controlled without human intervention.
BMW’s China Computing Center to open following the opening earlier this year of a similar Computing Center in Munich.
Last fall, Tencent Holding Ltd. and the BMW Group signed a strategic memorandum of understanding on 5 September to deepen their cooperation in the field of intelligent mobility. The goal is to promote the development of networked intelligence in the automotive industry.
Chinese internet giant and German car manufacturer have joined forces to integrate Tencent’s digital products and services with BMW’s automotive and mobile platforms, as well as potential collaboration opportunities in infotainment, core infrastructure and cybersecurity..
Tencent’s autopilot technology is already mature enough for widespread use. Last May, Tencent received a self-drive vehicle test license in Shenzhen, which allowed it to test its vehicles on certain public roads. Coincidentally, BMW received a similar license for Shanghai on the same day..