Fiat Chrysler has become the latest car manufacturer to throw its weight behind the development of autonomous vehicles - after it was formally announced that it would join an existing consortium that includes BMW, Intel and Mobileye.
The main objective of the consortium is to accelerate the development of fully automated vehicles, and it aims to be in a position to bring them to market by 2021. The consortium also disclosed that it will have deployed 40 test vehicles by the end of this year.
In a joint statement issued to the press, the companies claimed the addition of Fiat Chrysler to the consortium would increase the geographical reach of the group, whilst in addition to this it would enhance engineering capabilities and add technical resources.
CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne said it was imperative that collaborations are made between car manufacturers and technology companies in order to successfully deploy autonomous vehicles. He said: "In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers. Joining this cooperation will enable Fiat Chrysler to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective."
These sentiments were echoed by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich who declared that the arrival of Fiat Chrysler to the consortium will help accelerate its ambition to develop the safest autonomous vehicles in the world. He said: "The future of transportation relies on auto and tech industry leaders working together to develop a scalable architecture that automakers around the globe can adopt and customize."
This particular consortium is just one of a number of cross-industry associations that have been formed with the primary aim to help speed the development and launch of connected and autonomous vehicles. BMW and Intel are also members of the 5G Automotive Association, which includes a vast range of operators and specialist technology firms. Last week, it was disclosed that Ericsson, Intel and Toyota had formed a partnership agreement in order to investigate and establish the best practices in processing data created by connected vehicles.