BMW cars are parked for an emergency safety check at the playground of an elementary school near a BMW service centre in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
INTERNATIONAL – German car manufacturers BMW and Daimler are planning to cooperate in the development of autonomous driving systems, the German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Monday. 

Speaking to Xinhua on Monday, both BMW and Daimler press representatives declined to comment on the report that referred to sources from both companies. 

According to Handelsblatt, BMW and Daimler are considering a merging of product development and mutual disclosure of patents. The aim would be to reduce development costs worth billions of euros and to establish a common industry standard. 

Joint procurement of components such as gearboxes and batteries would also be discussed by the two German premium carmakers. Both, BMW and Daimler are planning to purchase energy storage systems from Chinese battery cell manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology  (CATL). 

The cooperation would also include the development of a common platform for smaller car models such as the BMW 1 Series and Daimler's Mercedes A-Class. According to the report, this measure alone would enable the car manufacturers to cut costs by billions of euros. 

Last week, Germany's largest carmaker Volkswagen announced to work together with US rival Ford on electric mobility. At the 2019 North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen and Ford revealed global cooperation that will initially focus on the joint development of vans and pick-ups. In addition, Volkswagen and Ford are negotiating cooperation in autonomous driving as well as electric drives, Volkswagen chief executive Herbert Diess and Ford chief executive Jim Hackett confirmed in a joint conference call in Detroit. 

BMW and Daimler, however, are still far away from completing their cooperation negotiations. According to top managers quoted by Handelsblatt, talks had just begun and it would still take some time until a "successful conclusion" will be reached.

XINHUA