Fiat Chrysler joins BMW and Intel’s autonomous car tech supergroup

16 Aug 2017

Sign outside FCA’s world headquarters. Image: Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

One of the world’s largest consortiums of autonomous vehicle technology has just gotten bigger with Fiat Chrysler entering the fray.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is set to join BMW, Intel and Mobileye (now an Intel company) as the second automaker in the supergroup created to develop autonomous driving technologies for global deployment in the near future.

The intention is for these two car conglomerates to run under a universal autonomous driving platform built with Intel and Mobileye’s technologies.

Future Human

In a statement, the BMW Group said that by adding FCA, it intends to leverage each other’s strengths, capabilities and resources to enhance the platform’s technology, increase development efficiency and reduce time to market.

This will include the co-location of engineers in Germany as well as other locations, with FCA to give similar access within the North American market.

“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, chair of the management board at BMW.

“With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM, Level 3 to 5 solution on a global scale.”

Intel’s ambitious plans

The timing of the news coincides with reports that FCA is in the midst of a lucrative offer from a Chinese automaker to buy substantial parts of the company’s assets, including the brands of Jeep and Fiat.

Meanwhile, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich – who recently made headlines for leaving US president Donald Trump’s manufacturing council over recent events involving white supremacist groups – said the future of transportation relies on the cooperation of major players in the auto industry.

Intel revealed in the past week that it plans to have a fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles on the road for testing within a year as part of the supergroup.

Not content with sticking to one consortium, Intel also found itself joined by Toyota in recent days as part of another group called the Automotive Edge Computing Consortium.

The objective of the consortium is to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing.

Sign outside FCA’s world headquarters. Image: Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic