Fiat Chrysler Joins BMW and Intel to Create Massive Alliance

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【Summary】FCA has plans to join BMW and Intel in an alliance to develop autonomous vehicles, hoping to reach its goal of having a self-driving vehicle on the road by 2021.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 30, 2017 10:15 AM PT
Fiat Chrysler Joins BMW and Intel to Create Massive Alliance

Automakers and technology companies are facing an uphill battle as they scramble to develop the necessary hardware and software for autonomous vehicles. BMW, for instance, is looking to unveil a Level 5 driverless car, one that can completely operate on its own and wouldn't even need to have a steering wheel or pedals, by 2021. That is insanely ambitious, as CEO of Nvidia, Jen-Hsun Huang, believes that self-driving vehicles won't come out until 2025.  

To help BMW reach its ambitious goal, the German automaker partnered with Intel Corp, a computer chip maker. Mobileye and Delphi also joined the partnership, making the alliance one of the largest and most competitive ones in the world. Well, BMW, Intel, Mobileye, and Delphi are getting another partner in the form of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

Late But Heading Straight To The Top

According to a report by The Verge, FCA announced its plan to join the alliance to aid in the development of autonomous technology for production vehicles last week. By joining the other companies, FCA hopes to achieve its goals of having a self-driving car on the road by 2021 and to stop itself from falling behind others. 

"In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers," said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne in a press release. "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." 

According to Reuters, BMW, Intel, and Mobileye stated that FCA would be bringing its engineering and other areas of expertise to the alliance, helping all of the companies involved to develop an industry-wide self-driving platform that other automakers could one day adopt.  

Why Partnerships Are Key

As the outlet reports, automakers are looking to split the incredibly high costs of developing driverless technology. Marchionne, as Retuers reports, cited the "synergies and economies of scale" in making the decision to join the alliance. This isn't the first partnership that the automaker is involved in, as it is providing Waymo with Chrysler Pacifica minivans to allow the tech company to test driverless technology. 

FCA will be joining the three-year old alliance, which, as The Verge points out, came to fruition with the goal of bringing Level 3, 4, and 5 driverless technologies to the road in production cars by 2021. The partnership now wants to add a "scalable architecture" to its growing list of things to do, which it hopes FCA will be able to lend a hand with. 

"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." 

If all goes well, the partnership will have 40 driverless cars on the road by the end of the year, and an additional 100 Level 4 autonomous vehicles that will be released globally at the same time. 

via: The Verge, Reuters

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