The computing center is of strategic importance since it will provide self-driving cars the required computing power to analyze real-time data including road and traffic conditions.
On Friday, BMW stated, it is partnering with China’s Tencent Holdings to launch a computing center in China which will help develop self-driving cars.
The computing center is expected to commence operations by the end of this year.
It will provide data-crunching capabilities to self driving cars, so enable them to drive semi-autonomously and eventually fully autonomously.
Neither BMW nor Tencent disclosed their respective investments in the computing center.
According to sources, the center will be built in the eastern city of Tianjin.
The computing center “will support BMW’s autonomous driving development and innovation in China,” said Jochen Goller, BMW’s head of operations in China. “BMW can, therefore, develop autonomous driving solutions that fit better with the specific driving conditions in China.”
BMW aims to leverage Tencent’s cloud computing and big data handling capabilities, a much needed infrastructure to develop autonomous vehicles.
According to BMW, it aims to introduce semi-autonomous, or L3 classification, cars in China in 2021; this will require massive computing power to analyze real-time flow of data which includes road and traffic conditions.