BMW China Automotive Trading and Tencent have signed a deal to jointly develop the High Performance D³ platform, which will be used to develop automated driving technologies and products that suit the traffic conditions and customer demands of the local market.

According to BMW, the “D³” in the platform’s name stands for “Data-Driven Development,” which is the basis for automated driving functions. The platform will begin testing by the end of this year, and be used initially for safety validation of Level 3 technologies before series production of such vehicles commences in 2021, as well as early-stage studies of Level 4 technologies.

After 2021, the platform will assist both the post-production development of Level 3 models and research into Level 4 technologies. Tencent will supply the IT architecture, tools and platforms across the field of automated driving research and development to the project.

“The collaboration between BMW Group and Tencent will set the benchmark for cross-industry cooperation. The BMW Group China High Performance D³ platform will allow us to develop autonomous driving solutions that represent a better fit for the specific driving scenarios in China,” said Jochen Goller, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China.

“Tencent is committed to assisting automotive companies in the digital transformation. The collaboration between Tencent and BMW Group has deepened over the past year or so, which proves BMW’s recognition of Tencent’s technical strength in the fields of cloud computing, big data, security and AI,” commented Dowson Tong, president of Tencent Cloud & Smart Industry.

“We hope that with the continuous deepening of cooperation between the two parties, we can create a new model and a new benchmark for cooperation between Chinese technology companies and international automotive companies. We also look forward to providing more assistance to the localization of international first-class automotive companies in China,” he added.