BERLIN -- BMW and Daimler have entered into a long-term development partnership for automated driving involving 1,200 technicians from both companies.
The strategic partnership will focus on developing technologies for driver assistance systems, automated driving on highways and automated parking, BMW said in a statement on Thursday.
The two automakers first announced their plans to join forces on automated driving technology in February, saying they were discussing the possibility of extending their partnership.
BMW and Daimler on Thursday said they had finalized the agreement and that they expected the technology to be deployed in mass-market vehicles for private customers from 2024.
The technology will be so-called Level 4, or "mind off," where the car can operate with driver input.
"In addition, further talks are planned to extend the cooperation to higher levels of automation in urban areas and city centers," BMW said.
The non-exclusive cooperation is open to other automakers and technology partners, with results being made available to other OEMs under license, BMW said.
Efforts will focus on developing a scalable architecture for driver assistance systems, including sensors, as well as a joint data center for data storage, administration and processing, and the development of functions and software.
The technicians will be based at locations including the BMW's autonomous driving campus in Unterschleissheim, near Munich, as well as the Mercedes' technology center in Sindelfingen and Daimler's testing and technology center in Immendingen.
Mercedes parent Daimler and BMW already cooperate in some areas.
In 2015, the two automakers, together with Audi, bought Nokia's mapping company Here, and last year the two automakers merged their short-term rental services Car2Go and DriveNow in a bid to create more of a presence in the developing mobility market.
Facing headwinds from international trade conflicts and narrowing margins due to tougher emissions legislation, automakers are being driven to team up by the massive development costs of key technologies in which they face competition from internet giants such as Alphabet's Waymo.
Volkswagen and Ford are in the final stage of talks on a strategic alliance to jointly develop self-driving and electric cars. German bsiness newspaper Handelsblatt said the deal was set to be approved on July 11.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report