German automaker BMW is working with Chinese internet giant Tencent to build a data processing center in China as part of the two companies’ collaboration in autonomous driving technology, the Financial Times reported.
The center will store and process data from self-driving car trials on Chinese roads, according to the report. Last year, BMW said it became the first international automaker to obtain an autonomous driving road test license in China. For global automakers trying to grab a piece of China’s potentially huge market for self-driving cars, alliances with local partners will be crucial given China’s regulations on digital mapping and data collected by autonomous vehicles.
Tencent, the operator of the WeChat messaging app and a major player in China’s cloud-computing services market, is trying to step up its game in autonomous driving technology after lagging behind other Chinese tech companies such as search provider Baidu in this area.