FCA joins BMW, Mobileye, and Intel's self-driving vehicle alliance


FCA joins BMW, Mobileye, and Intel's self-driving vehicle alliance

Fiat Chrysler will join in on a BMW-Intel partnership to develop an autonomous-driving system intended for "global development".

FCA and BMW are far from the only auto companies to seek partners in the automotive and tech sectors to help develop autonomous vehicle technology.

In a statement, Marchionne said his company will "directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective". The biggest high-tech names are seeking partners, and the biggest automakers are acquiring technical capability they need but don't have. The research firm ranks the sentiment of press coverage by analyzing more than twenty million blog and news sources in real-time.

FCA, which supplies plug-in hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivans to Google's Waymo division, announced it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the coalition. The financial resources of the Silicon Valley companies dwarf those of the automakers. It also produces metallurgical products and production systems for the automobile industry, and owns publishing and insurance companies.

FCA contributions will help move the group's efforts into the testing and execution phase, says Amnon Shashua, CEO and chief technology officer of Intel's Mobileye. "There are big players out there, but these are some of the biggest".

BMW's Intel and Mobileye partnership wants to bring Level 3 and Level 4/5 autonomous technology to the market by 2021, and wants to do it in a cost-effective way. Forty autonomous test vehicles based on that architecture are expected to hit the road by the end of this year. The companies said Fiat Chrysler would bring top engineering skills and other types of expertise to the group, which will help create an autonomous auto platform that carmakers across the industry could utilize.

The deal also allows engineers to work on the project outside of Germany.

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It's a new frontier with vast potential to generate new profits. The company had revenue of $27.93 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.24 billion.

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"I think it makes them a more attractive acquisition target", Abuelsamid said.

Note that this mentions a platform, and not a specific vehicle. The latest from Automotive News might corroborate such a statement, as FCA is apparently being pursued by unspecified Chinese automakers that might like to purchase the company in part for the profitable off-road brand.

"He's doing exactly what he should - making (FCA) look very appealing", he said.