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Fiat Chrysler joins BMW-Intel

Before you all start hitting the panic buttons and hyper ventilating, FCA is not about to become part of German carmaker BMW, it’s just about the technology. In a statement yesterday, Fiat Chrysler is teaming up with BMW and Intel to develop an autonomous-driving system, in a new consortium.

The companies say the system will be used by automakers worldwide to run self-driving vehicles. It will be flexible so automakers can keep their unique brand identities.

The move is the latest in a series of acquisitions and partnerships announced by auto and technology companies as they race to deploy self-driving vehicles.
Fiat Chrysler also has a partnership to provide vehicles and install technology developed by Waymo, Google’s autonomous car unit. A Fiat Chrysler spokeswoman says the partnership will continue.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a statement. “Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective.”

Computer chip maker Intel recently acquired Israel’s Mobileye, a leader in software that integrates autonomous car sensors. BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced an autonomous vehicle partnership in 2016.

The alliance plans to deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by the end of 2017 and expects to use the data from a test fleet of 100 vehicles announced by Mobileye. The group’s goal is to bring fully self-driving vehicles into production by 2021. Financial details of the FCA-Intel-BMW deal weren’t disclosed.

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