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FCA in self-driving alliance

by David Zatz on

FCA has done an about-face in autonomous cars, joining an alliance with BMW and Intel.

Sergio Marchionne had said earlier that he planned to let suppliers provide any needed expertise in autonomous cars, but that was before the alliance had been created — at a time when automakers were developing the technology on their own or with an IT provider.

This Pacifica was developed with Waymo, another autonomous car developer. 

BMW plans to use the group’s technology to build cars with Level 3 and Level 4/5 autonomous capabilities, according to a press release. The alliance issued a release quoting Mr. Marchionne praising economies of scale and partnerships.

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars is also part of the alliance, but the company is currently owned by BMW. (Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, which also made Rolls-Royce cars from 1998 to 2003.) Likewise, Israeli tech company Mobileye is part of the alliance, but was recently purchased by Intel for $15 billion — more than half the market value of FCA itself.

The alliance’s press release quoted the CEO of Intel as saying that FCA’s contribution was “bringing us a step closer” to making the “world’s safest autonomous vehicles.”

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