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Fiat joins BMW's autonomous car platform initiative

Car makers Fiat and BMW are working in collaboration with Intel and Mobileye to develop a scalable platform for self-driving vehicles

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has joined the industry group developing an autonomous platform with car maker BMW.

The collaboration, which involves engineers from BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye, intends to develop an autonomous car platform.

The group said it has been working on a scalable architecture that can be used by multiple automakers worldwide, while at the same time maintaining each automaker’s unique brand identities.

FCA said it would bring engineering and other technical resources and expertise to the cooperation and provide engineering support in Germany, where the platform is being developed.

“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,” said FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne.

The initiative began just over a year ago when BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye announced they would be collaborating on self-driving vehicles technology to deliver highly automated driving. The group is also planning on implementing fully automated driving into production vehicles by 2021.

“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 customise,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, Intel unveiled its computing platform for autonomous vehicles called Intel Go.

The platform is based on Intel’s processor and field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips, which it said would offer an efficient balance of performance and power while meeting the automotive industry’s stringent thermal and safety requirements.

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“The two factors that remain key to the success of the cooperation are uncompromising excellence in development, and the scalability of our autonomous driving platform,” said Harald Krüger, chairman of the board of management of BMW AG.

The platform has reached a number of significant milestones, according to the partners, who expect the cooperation will remain on-track to deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by the end of 2017.

Amnon Shashua, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Mobileye, said: “The combination of vision-intense perception and mapping, differentiated sensor fusion, and driving policy solutions offers the highest levels of safety and versatility, all in a cost-efficient package that will scale across all geographies and road settings.”

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