Two family-owned carmakers BMW and Toyota coming from different parts of the world are cooperating on a number of new ventures. Toyota, owned by the Toyoda family, reported revenues of 28.4 trillion yen ($274 billion) in 2016, while BMW had revenues of €76.8 billion in 2013.
The two auto makers are set to license technology from driver data gathering firm Nauto, which uses artificial intelligence and technology to understand driver behaviour. The carmakers would utilise the technology in their test vehicles to aggregate data for autonomous vehicles. The system can detect drinking, texting, and will advise drivers to avoid certain behaviours. The data can then be fed back to insurers.
The two companies are also collaborating on the development of a new platform for a sports car. While BMW is set to develop the ‘Z5 Roadstar’ based on this platform, Toyota is testing its vehicle named ‘Supra’ on the same chassis. This is not a new trend as automakers prefer to partner on low-volume models, instead of struggling to fund the project independently – just like Mazda and Fiat with the 124 Spider and MX-5 Miata. However with BMW and Toyota the partnership is slowly spilling to other areas as well.