The differences between automakers and technology companies are blurring more and more each week. Google has been bringing veterans from the auto industry to help with their autonomous vehicle project. Tesla has been hiring people from Google and Apple to help with their vehicles. There are many more examples we could pull out. So it should not come as a surprise that BMW is planning to make some major changes with more of a focus on tech.
Klaus Froehlich, BMW's board member for research and development told Reuters that a major restructuring was going to take place so the company could compete with the likes of Google with building the brain for autonomous vehicles.
"For me it is a core competence to have the most intelligent car," said Froehlich.
To pull this off, BMW will change up its R&D staff so that half will be computer programmers in an effort to build the new AI for self-driving BMW vehicles.
"Our task is to preserve our business model without surrendering it to an internet player. Otherwise we will end up as the Foxconn for a company like Apple, delivering only the metal bodies for them," said Froehlich.
Aside from building their own AI, BMW hopes to build out a cloud network so that a self-driving vehicle could get messages about weather conditions and traffic.