BMW vs. Mercedes-Benz: Which Automaker Is Leading in Driverless Tech?


Recently, BMW mentioned that it would introduce an autonomous car by 2021, called the iNext. The automaker hasn’t released much detail about the vehicle, but it will most likely resemble the similar-sounding Vision Next 100 concept vehicle, which the company showed off back in March.

At BMW’s annual shareholder meeting this month, the company’s CEO, Harald Krueger, said, “Our goal is already clearly defined — to be number one in autonomous driving.”

But BMW will find plenty of driverless-car competition among its fellow luxury automakers, most specifically from Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler.

Daimler is currently a leader in driverless technology among automakers, and it’s likely Krueger’s mention of autonomous tech is an effort to reassure investors the German automaker isn’t falling behind one of its biggest rivals.

But which carmaker is leading in driverless tech? Let’s have a look:

BMW’s autonomous angle

The company has been working on driverless car technology since 2011, but some of its most recent tests have involved working closely with China-based tech giant Baidu on a joint driverless venture. The two companies teamed up to equip a BMW 3 with Baidu’s AutoBrain autonomous car technology and performed real-world driving tests over 18.6 miles of Beijing roads.

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