Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is set to join BMW, Intel and Mobileye (now an Intel company) as the second automaker to join its supergroup created to develop autonomous driving technologies for global deployment in the near future. BMW will provide some of those things, as well, alongside Mobileye's hardware and Intel's experience with chips and software development.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has agreed to join a partnership between BMW and Intel to produce self-driving vehicle technology. "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".
Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) extended gains during early trading in Milan Wednesday as investors responded to ongoing speculation that the Italian-American company could be on the verge of a deal to sell itself to a Chinese buyer. 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.
Computer chip maker Intel recently acquired Israel's Mobileye, a leader in software that integrates autonomous vehicle sensors.
The company gave few details of "the platform" but did say it would be open for multiple automakers to use all around the world.
The group said it was still on track to put 40 self-driving test vehicles on the road by the end of 2017, and would learn from the 100 test vehicles to be deployed by Mobileye in the United States beginning later this year. In addition, engineers will be co-located in Germany and elsewhere.
"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", said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW.
The arrangement appears to be similar to the partnership Fiat Chrysler has with Waymo. That was in addition to 100 Pacifica Hybrids that Fiat Chrysler delivered past year to Waymo.
Fiat Chrysler and Waymo showed the self-driving version of the Chrysler Pacifica for the first time at the Detroit auto show in January.