Fiat Chrysler in talks with Aurora on autonomous vehicles

Marco Green
Июня 12, 2019

Fiat Chrysler has an existing partnership with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving unit, in which it supplies Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for Waymo's driverless fleet, which is now in operation in Arizona.

Though FCA's commercial division covers everything from police cars like the Dodge Durango Pursuit and Charger Pursuit models to heavy-duty trucks and delivery vans, the deal will most likely center around the latter type of vehicle.

As far as Fiat Chrysler is concerned, this collaboration is the first that could help them directly bring autonomous technology into their product lines, although previous projects included selling Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for use in Waymo's self-driving vehicle operations.

Fiat Chrysler says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurora, an autonomous vehicle company, to explore a potential partnership to develop self-driving commercial vehicles.

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.

This 2-year old start-up was founded Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, three individuals who played significant roles in the development of self-driving tech at Google, Tesla and Uber, respectively.

This announcement comes on the heels of FCA's potential industry-shifting merger with Renault fell through the gaps. The deal adds another major automaker to Aurora's growing stable of industry partners, which include Hyundai Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG. The Auburn Hills automaker blamed French politics in its decision to withdraw the merger proposal to create what would have been the world's third-largest automaker.

In February, Aurora said it had raised $530 million in new funding.

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