Economy

FCA, Aurora explore partnership to develop self-driving commercial vehicles

FCA, Aurora explore partnership to develop self-driving commercial vehicles”

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is partnering with Silicon Valley startup Aurora Innovation Inc.to develop and deploy a fleet of self-driving commercial vehicles in a bid to catch up with other automakers that have invested heavily in the technology.

FCA and Aurora have a deal to lay the groundwork for a partnership to use Aurora's self-driving system globally in Ram and Fiat vehicles used for deliveries and other duties.

"Aurora brings a unique skillset combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our philosophy on self-driving", he added. The agreement has been announced soon after Fiat Chrysler broke off talks with Renault for a possible collaboration. Currently, the company sells Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for use in Waymo's self-driving vehicle operations.

Fiat Chrysler had proposed a merger with Renault in part to enable the two companies to share the substantial cost of developing self-driving cars and electric vehicles. But the discussions collapsed last week after the French government, a major shareholder in Renault, demanded guarantees that the merged company would not cut jobs or close plants in France.

The merger is set to take place amidst believes that it may take longer for autonomous vehicles to run on the roads, sources mentioned. Enthusiasm cooled after an Uber test vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian previous year. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. It is already in agreement with Hyundai and Volkswagen to supply its technologies.

The deal is the latest for Aurora, co-founded by former Google auto executive Chris Urmson, and which has integrated its technology into sedans, SUVs, minivans and trucks. We are building the Aurora Driver, a platform that brings together the software and hardware to power the transportation of the future.

Aurora, founded in 2017, is backed by investors including Amazon.



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