Partnerships / Acquisitions

Fiat Chrysler, Aurora Link Up For Commercial Autonomous Vehicles

FCA, Aurora Team For Autonomous Vehicles

Self-driving startup Aurora and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have teamed up to make autonomous commercial automobiles, according to a report.

Aurora, which is backed by Amazon and Sequoia Capital, will integrate its technology into FCA’s Ram Truck vehicles, which also extends to cargo vans. FCA’s Fiat Professional brand could also possibly be part of the agreement. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Once the cars are manufactured, they could potentially be used by any third-party company, including Amazon for self-driving delivery vans.

Because of the high cost of entry in the development of the technology, many companies are forming partnerships, sometimes even with rivals. Earlier this year, FCA put forth a proposal to merge with Renault, saying it would help develop new vehicle technologies. However, the merger offer was withdrawn, although more partnerships are likely to appear.

“As part of FCA’s autonomous vehicle strategy, we will continue to work with strategic partners in this space to address the needs of consumers in a rapidly changing industry,” FCA CEO Mike Manley said in a statement.

FCA also has another partnership with Waymo, which is an autonomous car startup under Google’s parent company Alphabet.

The deal involves FCA producing around 100 minivan hybrids already integrated with Waymo’s self-driving tech. Waymo uses the vans for testing, and also for a pilot program of the Waymo One autonomous ride-hailing service in Phoenix. Those cars still have humans behind the wheel.

Aurora has never had aspirations of starting its own taxi service, and instead aims to focus on supplying services to other companies. Last year, FCA announced it would provide Waymo with 62,000 more minivans.

Aurora was founded in 2017 by Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell and Chris Urmson. So far, its technology has been used in six types of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, Class 8 trucks and large commercial vehicles.

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