How BMW and Intel are boosting Fiat Chrysler’s driverless ambitions

The age of driverless, electrically powered cars is imminent, and because of the huge amount of R&D needed, carmakers that you’d expect to be competing against each other are teaming up. Just a few weeks ago, Mazda and Toyota announced a partnership to research EV technology, and now there’s another new partnership in the works.

How BMW and Intel are boosting Fiat Chrysler's driverless ambitions

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has joined BMW, Mobileye and Intel’s existing driverless tech partnership – and it’s a great move for the brand.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said the company’s CEO Sergio Marchionne. “Joining this co-operation 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.”

“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 customise,” added 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.”

That means BMW, Fiat, Jeep, Chrysler and other brands could now end up sharing the same driverless technology. 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.

Launching a flexible tech platform that can be easily adapted for different cars might take longer – and initially be more expensive – but it’s a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

While FCA might not be able to deliver much in the way of technological know-how, what it can offer to the partnership is funds and scale. In addition to more money, the partnership will now benefit from the huge scale of Fiat Chrysler’s business: from the volume it sells to the manufacturing capability it has.

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