FRANKFURT, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Germany luxury carmaker BMW said on Saturday Alejandro Vukotich will be the new head of its driver assistance and autonomous driving development department from January 2019.
Vukotich will replace Elmar Frickenstein, who has been in charge of the department since it was created in May 2016 and who will retire after a three-month handover phase in March.
BMW in April concentrated its driver assistance and autonomous driving development in Unterschleißheim near its Munich headquarters.
BMW and its partners, including FCA, Intel and Mobileye have 1,300 specialists working on the development of a technology stack for automated driving.
Earlier this year, BMW announced plans to increase research and development (R&D) spending to an all-time high of up to 7 billion euros ($7.96 billion) in 2018 as costs for developing electric and autonomous cars spike. ($1 = 0.8790 euros) (Reporting by Arno Schuetze Editing by Alexander Smith)