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Saturday, August 26, 2017

CARMAKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE! FIAT CHRYSLER JOINS THE PARTY


There’s always that one guy at rock concerts who loiters on the periphery of the entourage: he has the pass and hang outs with the big boys backstage, but nobody really knows his role. On the surface, the recent announcement that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) will join BMW’s existing alliance with Intel and Mobileye has a similar feel.

Last week, all parties signed a memorandum of understanding for FCA to join them in their quest to develop a world leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform. While FCA isn’t totally new to the AD game – Waymo uses Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans to test its driverless car technology – in terms of getting in on the more technology-oriented side of the business (digital mapping, ride-hailing), so far it hasn’t particularly been known to be one of the front players. Being left behind for too long in the current landscape might mean that producing cars for Silicon Valley giants, where they take the lion’s share of your profits, could become your only means of survival. And that’s probably where FCA was heading.

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