Following the announcement last November that next-generation BMW models will use Qualcomm computer chips for self-driving systems and technology, BMW has signed an agreement for strategic cooperation with Qualcomm and Arriver Software focused on the joint development of self-driving software. The three companies will work together to develop the next generation of self-driving technologies and systems ranging from level two advanced driving assistance systems to level three high automated driving functionalities. The project won’t be starting from scratch, as the current BMW automated driving software stack, which debuted last year with the BMW iX, will be used as the basis for further development.
The collaboration is set to involve more than 1,400 specialists who will be working from locations that include the U.S., Germany, Sweden, China, Romania, and BMW’s own automated driving test center in the Czech Republic. The primary focus will be to create a scalable platform for automated driving technologies and software which is based on common reference architecture, sensor parameter specifications, jointly agreed upon safety standards, a software toolchain, and a data center handling the tasks of storage, reprocessing, and simulation. Consistent with last year’s announcement, BMW’s automated driving system will be ported to the Snapdragon Ride Vision system-on-chip (SoC) which includes Arriver Computer Vision and the Snapdragon Ride Platform’s compute SoC controllers managed by the Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud Services platform.
“This joint software development is an important milestone for the BMW Group with regards to our next generation Automated Driving platform. To enable sophisticated and safe functionalities in a vehicle you need state-of-the art software in all components of the digital value chain. This forms the backbone for intelligent driver assistance systems. The BMW Group is excited to further extend our partnership with global technology leaders Qualcomm Technologies and Arriver to include a long-lasting strategic co-development cooperation in order to continue delivering world-class driving experiences to our customers.” said Nicolai Martin, senior vice president, driving experience, BMW Group.
“We are proud of this long-term cooperation with the BMW Group and Arriver which focuses on co-development and deployment of Automated Driving systems from NCAP to Level 3 customer functionality in BMW upcoming series production vehicles,” offered Nakul Duggal, senior vice president and general manager, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Building on already commercialized stack components from BMW Group and Arriver, this cooperation will position us to extend BMW Automated Drive software to the Snapdragon Ride platform, and expand the accessibility of safer self-driving technologies to other automakers and Tier-1s in an open, flexible and scalable deployment framework. We believe Snapdragon Ride will create significant economies of scale and time-to-market benefits across the automotive industry with the launch of the automated driving software globally in BMW’s series production vehicles, which have always been an exemplar of the highest quality, performance and safety standards in modern day automobiles.”
“We are pleased that Arriver’s Vision Perception and market proven NCAP features will be combined with the BMW Automated Driving software stack. Joining forces with Qualcomm Technologies and BMW Group Arriver’s team will co-develop the next generation of open and scalable Drive Policy with world-class feature solutions and performance. This co-developed product will be offered to our customers globally. This cooperation is a key milestone for Arriver and a proof point of the rich competence of our teams through years of experience in ADAS & safety,” explained Giuseppe Rosso, president and managing director, Arriver Software.
Although the strategic cooperation currently involves BMW, San Diego-based Qualcomm Technologies, and Arriver Software, the press releases from the three companies state that they remain open to further partnerships.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]