BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye say they have signed a memorandum of understanding with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – FCA – to be the first automaker to join them in developing a world leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform for global deployment. The development partners intend to use each other’s capabilities and resources “to enhance the platform’s technology, increase development efficiency and reduce time to market.”
One enabler to achieve this will be the co-location of engineers in Germany, as well as other locations. FCA will bring engineering and other technical resources and expertise to the cooperation, as well as its significant sales volumes, geographic reach and long-time experience in North America.
“To advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” said FCA Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne, whose financially fragile company or parts of it are being explored for possible sale by a Chinese automaker.
During July 2016, BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye announced that they were joining forces to make self-driving vehicles a reality by collaborating to bring solutions for highly automated driving (Level 3) and fully automated driving (Level 4/5) into production by 2021. Since then, they have been designing and developing a scalable architecture that can be used by multiple automakers around the world (they hope). The cooperation will deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by 2017 year-end. It also expects to benefit from the data and learning from the recently announced 100 Level 4 test vehicle fleet of Mobileye, an Intel Company, demonstrating the scale effect of this collaborative approach.