Fiat Chrysler joins BMW and Intel’s autonomous driving efforts

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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding to join BMW, Intel and Mobileye in developing their ‘state-of-the-art’ autonomous driving platform.

In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers
— FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne

Under the plans, the carmaker will become the first to join the existing partners in developing their platform as a scalable architecture that can be used by carmakers around the world.

The partners plan to leverage each other’s strengths and resources to enhance the platform’s technology and reduce its time to market. FCA will provide engineering expertise and technical resources to the collaboration, as well as its geographic reach.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA Chief Executive Officer 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.”

Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG, said: “The two factors that remain key to the success of the cooperation are uncompromising excellence in development, and the scalability of our autonomous driving platform.

“With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM Level 3-5 solution on a global scale.”

Last year, BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced that they would collaborate on solutions for highly automated and fully automated driving, with plans to put these into production by 2021.

The partners announced plans at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to test driverless cars on the roads later this year.

Intel also said last week that it would build a test fleet of 100 fully autonomous vehicles – an initiative that the partners expect to benefit from by leveraging data and insights for their wider autonomous efforts.

“The future of transportation relies on auto and tech industry leaders working together to develop a scalable architecture that automakers around the globe can adopt and customize,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

“We’re thrilled to welcome FCA’s contribution, bringing us a step closer to delivering the world’s safest autonomous vehicles.”

FCA is already involved in one high-profile autonomous driving programme, with Chrysler’s Pacifica Hybrid minivans being used in Waymo’s fleet of self-driving vehicles. The partners recently announced that Waymo will add another 500 of the self-driving minivans to its fleet.