Audi is preparing to join an alliance with its German rivals, Daimler and BMW, to develop advanced driving assistance systems, according to German business weekly Wirtschaftswoche.
The official announcement of Audi’s decision to join the alliance is expected at Frankfurt auto show in September, Wirtschaftswoche said.
Daimler and BMW announced earlier this year they were setting aside their traditional rivalry over the luxury sales crown to collaborate on developing highly automated driving functions to enable so-called Level Three autonomous driving on highways as well as automated parking. Level Three systems are considered a step stone to fully automated driving.
In July, the two German automakers fortified their alliance, announcing they planned to launch their next-generation self-driving tech in passenger cars by 2024.
Before announcing their automated partnership, BMW and Daimler also announced a $1 billion electric mobility partnership. That effort focuses on ridesharing, charging, and related matters.
Daimler is already working with Bosch, and BMW has partnerships with Intel/Mobileye and Delphi, in addition to Nauto — which received investments from General Motors and Toyota, as well.
The enormous cost of AV technology and EV development has forced automakers to look for partners to share the expense even with traditional rivals.
Renault and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. are considering reviving their discussions, according to media reports in Italy. GM and Honda have teamed up on projects in the AV space.
The Volkswagen Group, which Audi is part of, also launched a major partnership on AVs and electric vehicles with the Ford Motor Co.
Volkswagen and Ford are teaming up with a massive $7 billion project to attack the new frontier in the global auto market: electric and self-driving vehicles, the companies announced.
The German and U.S. auto giants Volkswagen announced they were expanding their alliance accelerating cooperation among otherwise competing global auto giants as they face enormous costs in developing new technologies.
“It just makes sense for us. It makes both companies stronger,” VW chief executive Herbert Diess said. “It makes a lot of sense to combine forces.”
The agreement calls for Volkswagen to invest $2.6 billion in capital and assets in Ford’s self-driving unit Argo AI to market new-technology vehicles in the United States and Europe.