"For me it is a core competence to have the most intelligent car," he says.
And that means hiring. BMW wants to get its software engineer count up to a 50:50 spread compared to its other employees and because schools in Deutschland aren't producing enough viable candidates, the company has to look at outward partnerships to fill the gaps. Those include working with cloud computing and storage outfits to help drive its autonomous vehicle initiative.
But partnerships go both ways. Froehlich says that his firm will license out its electric drivetrains to manufacturers that otherwise couldn't develop their own -- a move that would surely help it recoup those heavy R & D costs. Pretty forward thinking for a 100 year-old, eh? If this doesn't work out, there's always its connected motorcycle helmet business.