Carmakers including BMW have already developed next generation self-driving cars, vehicles which need permanent software updates in the form of high-definition maps allowing a car to recalculate a route if it learns about an accident ahead. The technology is moving ahead faster than the legal and regulatory rules which would allow large-scale commercial availability.
Earlier this year, BMW’s new R&D chief Klaus Froehlich said his company and Apple had much in common, including a focus on premium branding, an emphasis on evolving products and a sense of aesthetically pleasing design.
Asked, in general terms, whether a deeper collaboration beyond integration of products like the iPhone would make sense, Froehlich initially said BMW would not consider any deal that forces it to open up its core know-how to outsiders.
“We do not collaborate to open our eco systems but we find ways, because we respect each other,” Froehlich told Reuters.
BMW will keep in mind the needs of the customer, and what the company’s core strengths are, when it considers the merits of entering any strategic collaboration, Froehlich added.