Fiat Chrysler in talks with Aurora on autonomous vehicles

AUSTIN Texas- MARCH 09 Chris Urmson speaks onstage at Featured Session Self Driving Cars The Future is When? with Malcolm Gladwell & Chris Urmson during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center

AUSTIN Texas- MARCH 09 Chris Urmson speaks onstage at Featured Session Self Driving Cars The Future is When? with Malcolm Gladwell & Chris Urmson during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin Convention Center

Self-driving auto software startup Aurora said on Sunday it would partner with Fiat Chrysler to build autonomous platforms for commercial vehicles, the latest collaboration with an automaker for the fast-growing Silicon Valley company.

A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sign at its U.S. headquarters in Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S., May 25, 2018. Waymo is taking over an idled facility in Detroit to equip the vehicles with self-driving software, and should begin doing so the middle of this year, the company has said.

Aurora already has partnerships with Volkswagen AG, Hyundai Motor Co and China's Byton to develop and test self-driving systems for a range of applications for automakers, fleet owners and others. FCA says the system uses technology that is capable of sensing and navigating an environment without human interaction.

"As part of FCA's autonomous vehicle strategy, we will continue to work with strategic partners to address the needs of customers in a rapidly changing industry", the automaker's CEO Mike Manley said in the release. "Aurora brings a unique skill set combination with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self driving".

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This 2-year old start-up was founded Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, three individuals who played significant roles in the development of self-driving tech at Google, Tesla and Uber, respectively.

The partnership is the latest in a steady stream for Aurora, which already has deals in place with Volkswagen, Hyundai and Byton.

The announcement comes less than a week after the automaker's talks to merge with Renault SA of France collapsed, raising questions about its ability to compete as a standalone company in an industry spending billions of dollars on future technologies.

The company closed a $530 million funding round in February that included investment from Amazon.

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