German automaker BMW and Chinese online gaming giants Tencent Holdings are announced on Friday, that they teaming up to launch a computer center in China that will develop autonomous cars in the world’s largest car market.
The computer center, which will enter service at the end of the year, will provide cars with data processing capabilities that allow them to drive semi-autonomously and eventually autonomously.
They did not disclose the investment in the center. Sources familiar with the deal said the center will be built in the eastern city of Tianjin.
The establishment of the center “will support BMW’s autonomous driving development and innovation in China,” Jochen Goller, head of BMW’s China operations, said in a statement.
“BMW can, therefore, develop autonomous driving solutions that fit better with the specific driving conditions in China.”
BMW said the new data center will take advantage of PUBG Tencent’s cloud computing and big data and will provide the manufacturer with the infrastructure needed to develop autonomous cars.
BMW’s planned Chinese computing center follows the opening earlier this year of a similar computing center in Munich.
The Munich-headquartered automaker says it will likely introduce semi-autonomous, or L3 classification, cars in China in 2021 which would need massive computing power to analyze real-time flow of digital information on road and traffic conditions.
Driverless cars need sophisticated data-crunching capabilities as they rely on so-called artificial-intelligence, or neuro-network technology, to help them “learn” from experience and could eventually drive themselves without human intervention.
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