Fiat Chrysler Working with Silicon Valley Startup on Autonomous Vehicles

Fiat Chrysler and Aurora A Driverless Car Company Sign Agreement to Work Together

Fiat Chrysler and Aurora A Driverless Car Company Sign Agreement to Work Together

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 is a 2-year-old startup based in Palo Alto, California, founded by Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, who played significant roles in the development of autonomous technology at Google, Tesla and Uber, respectively.

FCA and Aurora have a deal to lay the groundwork for a partnership to use Aurora's self-driving system globally in Ram and Fiat vehicles used for deliveries and other duties.

The company is among dozens of startups, automakers and large technology companies working on self-driving auto systems, eager to capitalize on a sea change in the transportation industry brought by developments in machine learning.

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Fiat Chrysler has an existing partnership with Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving unit, in which it supplies Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for Waymo's driverless fleet, which is now in operation in Arizona.

"Aurora brings a unique skillset combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self-driving".

The two companies signed an agreement to integrate Aurora's self-driving platform into Fiat Chrysler's commercial vehicle lines in the U.S. They didn't disclose the dollar value of the agreement, specify the number of vehicles to be deployed or say by when.

Aurora, which has completed a 530 million United States dollar funding round in February that included investment from Amazon, has struck deals with Volkswagen Group, Hyundai Motor Co., and China's e-vehicle maker Byton to develop self-driving technology for auto-makers. No plants would have closed if the deal were to happen, and the newly formed company would have been worth an estimated $40 billion and represented about 8.7 million annual vehicle sales.

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