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Report: Audi to join BMW-Daimler autonomous tech alliance

Automakers continue to consolidate their self-driving development projects.

Audi is reportedly planning to join BMW and Daimler's autonomous technology alliance.

BMW and Daimler formed the partnership in July, joining forces to develop technology that can achieve Level 4 autonomy by 2024. The collaboration includes "highly automated" driving on highways and automated parking.

Audi's entry to the consortium will be formally announced at the Frankfurt motor show, according to Germany's WirtschaftsWoche.

BMW initially hoped to achieve Level 5 capability by 2021. Like other automakers, however, the company appears to have underestimated the time and resources that will be required to commercialize true self-driving technology.

The German trifecta represents the latest indication of further consolidation as rival automakers view partnerships as necessary to hasten autonomous technology development and share costs. Waymo and Tesla appear to be ahead of the established players in the automotive industry, further pressuring major automakers to group their efforts rather than be left behind.

The BMW-Daimler partnership was announced just days before Ford and Volkswagen confirmed their own joint development efforts for autonomous technology.

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