Fiat Chrysler joins BMW-led autonomous driving group
Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has announced it is joining a BMW-led consortium to develop self-driving car technology with the aim of producing fully automated vehicles by 2021. FCA’s move follows automotive component suppliers Delphi Automotive and Continental, which joined the collaboration in May and June, respectively.
BMW and Intel launched the cross-industry partnership in July 2016, along with Israeli car-camera software provider Mobileye NV, which Intel purchased this year. The companies intend to create an industry standard for future fleets of autonomous vehicles. Fiat Chrysler previously outsourced its self-driving program to Google’s parent company Alphabet and the company’s chief executive Sergio Marchionne resisted further collaboration in autonomously driven and electric-powered vehicles.
Demonstrating a shift in attitude, last month Marchionne said Fiat Chrysler’s Maserati luxury sports brand would electrify half of its vehicles’ powertrains by the early 2020s. He also said the company was now looking to expand collaboration on self-driving car technology. Marchionne commented: “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.”
Similar competitive efforts include a group formed in April by German automaker Daimler and auto components supplier Robert Bosch that plans to bring its own fully automated driving standard to urban areas by early next decade. Ford Motor and General Motors have their own self-driving car programs. Intel competitor Nvidia has autonomous technology partnerships with several automotive companies, including Audi, Tesla and Toyota Motor.