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BMW Signs Deal with DXC Technology to Speed Up Autonomous Driving Development

BMW Signs Deal with DXC Technology to Speed Up Autonomous Driving Development

Author: Eric Walz   

Last month, German automaker BMW announced that it was building its own data platform called "D3" to help sort and analyze the terabytes of data that will be generated by the automaker's future autonomous and internet connected vehicles. The D3 platform helps ensure that the data generated can be used more efficiently and shared with other self-driving vehicles. To further manage all of this data, BMW signed a deal with IT services company DXC Technology to help support and accelerate BMW's autonomous vehicle development.

The BMW high performance D3 platform is already gathering massive amounts of road-travel data from BMW's global test fleet. The BMW data collection fleet is comprised of 80 BMW 7-Series sedans, which are in operation on the west coast of the U.S., Germany, Israel and China. The number of vehicles is set to increase to 140 by the end of 2019.

The drawback is the data collected is terabytes in size, making it difficult to manage and analyze, which is why the automaker signed a deal with DXC Technology.

Virginia-based DXC Technology specializes in services for simplifying data analysis and algorithmic training and can help BMW reduce the time and cost to develop autonomous vehicles. This "training data" is gathered from a self-driving vehicle then processed by machine learning algorithms, which are used to help identify and predict the behavior of other vehicles. Using AI-based software, these autonomous driving systems get better over time.

"DXC welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with BMW Group to advance autonomous driving development capabilities. With the platform and tools provided by DXC, BMW engineers are able to significantly accelerate the engineering and testing of autonomous driving algorithms." said Edward Ho, executive vice president and general manager, Offerings, DXC Technology.

DXC will focus on enabling autonomous driving research and development by expediting engineering and testing cycles. Using DXC's technology to analyzing data, BMW's manufacturing research and development teams will be able to collect, store and manage vehicle sensor data in seconds rather than days or weeks, speeding up autonomous driving development.

"Autonomous driving is at the heart of BMW Group's "NUMBER ONE > NEXT' strategy," said Alejandro Vukotich, senior vice president, Autonomous Driving and Driver Assistance at BMW Group. "DXC will greatly support our commitment to maximizing innovation, which will benefit our customers. With the managed services, we are able to ramp up the solution to support the next stage of the future of BMW Group's autonomous drive platform."

One example of this is DXC's Robotic Drive, which rapidly accelerates the autonomous driving development process, including data collection, data storage and analysis. The DXC Robotic Drive platform and toolkit are composed of digital analytics, cloud and platform services, and security and applications offerings.

Built on an open-source ecosystem, DXC Robotic Drive allows workloads to be moved easily. It uses a single platform for storage, processing and training, which requires fewer hardware and software requirements. In addition, it reduces cost and complexity.

Engineers can work collaboratively and in an agile fashion regardless of their location, allowing data collected globally by BMW vehicles can be monitored centrally, maximizing efficiency and reducing costs.

BMW is planning on have autonomous capable vehicles on the road by 2021, beginning with the BMW iNEXT.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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