Fiat Chrysler in talks with Aurora on autonomous vehicles

Daniel Fowler
June 13, 2019

Aurora Innovations, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) new partner for developing self-driving vehicles is now backed by Amazon.

Their self-driving system, which is called the Aurora Driver, consists of hardware, software and data services that collectively enable Level 4 automation, which means vehicles are capable of navigating themselves without human intervention or oversight.

"We are thrilled to forge a partnership with FCA US to develop a meaningful business model for delivering the benefits of self-driving commercial vehicles", said Sterling Anderson, Aurora Co-founder and Chief Product Officer.

FCA brings deep expertise in the design, development and manufacturing of a wide range of commercial vehicles, as well as established relationships with a broad range of suppliers, dealers and commercial vehicle customers needed to deploy this technology.

Fiat Chrysler already has an agreement to supply Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc, with more than 62,000 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans to create autonomous vehicles that could eventually be sold to the public.

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Precisely what those vehicles will be isn't clear, but the dozens of automakers and research firms exploring autonomous technology see a number of possible options.

Last week Fiat Chrysler's parent company ended talks with Groupe Renault for a proposed "merger-of-equals".

All three Detroit automakers have teamed up with startups in their pursuit of autonomous technology. Prototypes could be on the road within the next 3-5 years, reports Autonews Europe.

"Everybody has hit the brakes", said Mike Ramsey, an analyst at research firm Gartner. In the past Ford said it aimed to have driverless cars with no steering wheel and no pedals in mass production by 2021.

Aurora, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, has its own partnerships with leading automobile companies such as Volkswagen, Hyundai and the Chinese electric auto company named Byton.

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