The Chinese tech giant is supporting BMW’s new IT platform for the development in China of Level 3 and Level 4 autonomous vehicles as part of a wider technology partnership.

BMW and Tencent

BMW and Tencent partner on IT platform

BMW and Tencent have signed an agreement to work together on building the newly revealed BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform, an IT infrastructure for automated driving technologies and products geared for China’s local traffic conditions and customer demands.

BMW revealed the global version of the BMW Group digital platform first in Munich, and said it would be set up and ready to begin operations by the end of this year. The ‘D³’ in the IT platform’s name stands for data-driven development, which forms the basis for the development of highly (Level 3) and fully (Level 4) automated driving functions.

Before the BMW Group commences series production of Level 3 vehicles in 2021, the platform will be used mainly for safety validation. After 2021, the company said that the platform will assist both the post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 technologies. 

In China, Tencent will provide IT architecture, tools and platforms across the field of automated driving research and development. According to BMW, both partners will comply strictly with Chinese laws and regulations on data security, prevent data security risks and ensure data compliance using Tencent’s security expertise. 

According to Alejandro Vukotich, senior vice-president of automated driving at BMW, the platform will be essential to collecting and analyzing data to improve safety through simulation, testing and validation. ”The launch of the D³ – Data-Driven Development – platform in China is the next big step for us along this path,” he said.

“China is at the forefront of automated driving development, and we aim to play a pioneering role in this area,” said Mr. Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China. “The collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation.”

Dowson Tong, president of Tencent Cloud & Smart Industry, highlighted a deepening partnership between the Chinese tech giant and BMW in areas including cloud computing, big data, security and artificial intelligence.

”We hope that with the continuous deepening of cooperation between the two parties, we can create a new model and a new benchmark for cooperation between Chinese technology companies and international automotive companies. We also look forward to providing more assistance with the localisation of international first-class automotive companies in China,” he said.