BMW taps Valeo for driving assistance systems in its next-gen EVs

BMW Group has tapped Valeo to provide the advanced driver assistance system for the automaker’s new electric vehicle platform due to launch in 2025.

The deal, a significant win for Valeo, also holds importance for BMW. The automaker is aiming to capture a 50% market share of global EV sales by the end of the decade and sees its new EV platform, called Neue Klasse, as the key to reaching that target. The partnership also gives a bit more insight into BMW’s changing strategy around EVs.

Valeo will provide the sensors and software for parking and maneuvering BMW’s next generation of EVs, as well as the advanced driver assistance system domain controller that manages the flow of data between the sensors and the vehicle.

Developing a dedicated EV platform is an about-face for the German automaker. BMW tested the concept with its first EV, the i3, before hedging its bets with a hybrid approach to building gas-powered, hybrid and battery-electric vehicles on the same line. However, this delayed the development and launch of new BMW models.

Configurable platforms that can underpin a range of EVs, from subcompact cars to vans, will be crucial to automakers’ sustained growth, according to the 2022 AlixPartners Global Automotive Outlook released June 22.

GM’s EVs are based on the automaker’s new Ultium battery platform, whose modular architecture can produce 19 different battery and drive configurations, help GM scale its battery-electric operations and reduce costs.

About 30% of Volkswagen Group’s EVs are based on its MEB (Modular Electric Drive Matrix) architecture, including the ID.AERO sedan the automaker debuted yesterday for the Chinese market. The automaker expects that share to surpass 80% by 2025.

BMW “Neue Klasse” will also use Valeo’s next-generation ultrasonic sensors, surround-view cameras and new multifunctional interior camera that can detect signs of drowsiness, fatigue or driver distraction.

Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon SoCs, the ADAS domain controller will host Valeo’s software platform for low-speed driving, as well as machine learning software from BMW and Qualcomm. The system will add new features and upgrades during the car’s lifecycle, as well as collect real-time mapping and location data.

“Beyond the opportunities resulting from our integrated software stack, the domain controller itself is an important cornerstone in our strategy for safer and smarter mobility,” Marc Vrecko, Valeo’s president of comfort and driving assistance systems, said in a statement.

BMW did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.