Fiat Chrysler joins BMW, Intel self-driving consortium
By David Curry
Fiat Chrysler has joined BMW’s growing consortium of automakers, tech companies, and suppliers, all working together to accelerate the creation of semi-autonomous and driverless vehicles.
Alongside Fiat and Chrysler, FCA owns the Jeep, Maserati, and Dodge car brands, covering almost all consumer vehicle sizes. That should allow the consortium to modify self-driving software down to the type of car.
“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”
It is not FCA’s first foray into the world of self-driving, the company has supplied over one hundred modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Waymo. It has reportedly also been in talks with Uber and Amazon, although nothing appears to have come of these meetings.
The eagerness to partner with others has not been matched by the company’s own self-driving research and development. FCA is estimated to be behind General Motors, Ford, and BMW, all three aim to have driverless vehicles on the road by 2025.
FCA may look to the consortium to fill in the gaps. Intel and Mobileye can supply the processing power, sensors, and connectivity. Suppliers Delphi and Continental are looking to have major stakes in the self-driving market, possibly supplying other essential parts.
With Waymo working on the self-driving software, FCA may only need to manufacture the cars, same as what they do now, to be successful.
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