Daimler announced it will turn over the development of its electronic driver-assistance features to Elektobit.
This move only means that automakers can no longer handle by themselves the increasingly complex electronic driver-assistance technology. The two companies said that Daimler will no longer offer its own researchers for the development of high-tech features such as blind-spot detection or lane-departure warnings.
Instead, the German automaker will focus on how to implement these features in its vehicles and just assign software development projects to Finland-based Elektrobit, after they signed a deal until 2020. More automaker begin to understand that it is tough to develop electronic driver-assistance features by themselves and that to do so they need to invest more time and money to keep up with the technological advancements.
Ford and GM took similar steps earlier this year when they asked high-tech companies to develop applications which the automaker will just have to fit into their vehicles. GM has signed a deal with AT&T to get in all its 2014 models the fourth-generation mobile-broadband technology, while Daimler has a 4-year agreement with Elektrobit working on previous projects such as adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection and other software programs.
The agreement “underlines the growing importance of software as a key differentiation factor also in the driver-assistance area, for both luxury and mass-market vehicles,” said the president of Elektrobit’s automotive business, Alexander Kocher. “It also mirrors the increasing separation of software from hardware components.”