After less than a year, BMW and Mercedes are ending what was supposed to be an ongoing partnership to develop automated driving technology. The two automakers described the split as “mutual and amicable.” They were also quick to note they may renew the partnership in the future.
A handful of factors led to the decision. In a joint statement, the two companies said developing a shared autonomous vehicle platform was a more complex and expensive task than they had anticipated. The signing of the agreement also delayed how quickly they could hold joint discussions between their in-house experts and talk to suppliers about product roadmaps.
BMW and Mercedes may have also been too ambitious. When they announced the collaboration last July, they said their goal was to start selling Level 4 self-driving cars, with the ability to handle freeway driving and parking on their own, by 2024.