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Tech companies are likely going to play a major role in the automotive industry a few years down the line. Google’s contributions to self-driving car technology speak for themselves and Apple is rumored to be working on its own electric car project. This poses a threat to legacy car makers like BMW who have been in the business longer than these tech companies have been in existence, yet they must adapt or fear being left behind.

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Speaking with Reuters at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this week BMW board member Klaus Froehlich said that it’s a core competence for the company to have the “most intelligent car.”

“Our task is to preserve or business model without surrendering it to an internet player,” he said, pointing out that otherwise it will end up as Foxconn for a company like Apple, “delivering only the metal bodies for them.”

BMW has a clear vision about how it wants to proceed with this aim. For starters, it’s going to ramp up hiring so that half of its research and development team is made up of software engineers. They will be tasked with building artificial intelligence which will power self-driving BMW vehicles of the future.

This goes to show that BMW doesn’t want to be left behind and that it’s more than willing to join the autonomous future instead of denying the reality that it’s closer than we think.

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