Thursday, 18 July, 2019

Fiat Chrysler US To Partner With Aurora Innovation

Aurora partners with Fiat Chrysler over self-driving tech Fiat partners with Aurora on self-driving cars
Russell Knight | 13 June, 2019, 05:15

Fiat Chrysler says it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aurora, an autonomous vehicle company, to explore a potential partnership to develop self-driving commercial vehicles.

"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", said FCA CEO Mike Manley. "Aurora brings a unique skill set combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our philosophy on self-driving". It is unclear if the vehicles will be sold outright or operated via a contract fleet, however.

Along with the new FCA deal, Aurora has also forged relationships with Hyundai, Volkswagen and Chinese electric vehicle start-up Byton.

A pioneer in the autonomous field, Aurora employs over 200 at offices in Pittsburgh, Palo Alto and San Francisco.

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FCA's merger proposal called for the creation of a company 50 percent owned by FCA shareholders and 50 percent by Renault shareholders.

Fiat Chrysler is aligning with Aurora at a time when industry executives are acknowledging that it will probably take longer than previously believed to put autonomous vehicles on the road. Supposedly, enthusiasm in self-driving cars depleted to some extent due to an accident where a pedestrian was killed by an Uber test vehicle the previous year. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies.

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. Earlier this year it raised $530 million through a Series B funding round, with Amazon one of its key investors.

The partnership between the two will see Aurora give FCA access to hardware, software, and data services in a bid to make it a relevant player in this emerging market.

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