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Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to join BMW, Intel and Mobileye in developing autonomous driving platform


August 18, 2017   by Canadian Underwriter


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BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye (an Intel company) announced earlier this week that they have signed a memorandum of understanding with the intention for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to be the first automaker to join them in developing a “world-leading, state-of-the-art autonomous driving platform for global deployment.”

Intel Corporation’s Advanced Vehicle Lab in Chandler, Ariz., tests sensor-laden cars on nearby streets, collecting information to create so-called deep learning models that will provide data for future vehicles that will drive themselves. (Credit: Tim Herman/Intel Corporation)

The platform will be scalable for Level 3 to Level 4/5 automated driving and can be used by multiple automakers around the world while maintaining their unique brand identities, Intel reported in a press release. SAE International considers Level 3 automated driving systems to be “conditional automation,” with the expectation that the human driver will respond appropriately to a request to intervene. Level 4 (high automation) and Level 5 (full automation) consider the automated system as the fallback performance of a dynamic driving task, according to SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) International.

Intel said in the release that the development partners intend to leverage each other’s individual strengths, capabilities and resources to enhance the platform’s technology, increase development efficiency and reduce time to market. One enabler to achieve this will be the co-location of engineers in Germany as well as other locations. FCA will bring engineering and other technical resources and expertise to the cooperation, as well as its “significant sales volumes, geographic reach and longtime experience in North America,” the release said.

“In order to advance autonomous driving technology, it is vital to form partnerships among automakers, technology providers and suppliers,” suggested FCA chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne in the release. “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.”

Related: Intel predicts autonomous driving will spur new ‘passenger economy’ worth US$7 trillion by 2050

In July 2016, BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye announced that they were joining forces to make self-driving vehicles a reality by collaborating to bring solutions for highly automated driving (Level 3) and fully automated driving (Level 4/5) into production by 2021. Since then, they have been designing and developing the scalable architecture.

The cooperation remains on-track to deploy 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by the end of this year, Intel reported. It also expects to benefit from leveraging data and learnings from the recently announced 100 Level 4 test vehicle fleet of Mobileye, “demonstrating the scale effect of this collaborative approach,” the release added.

“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. “With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM Level 3-5 solution on a global scale.”

Professor Amnon Shashua, chief executive officer and chief technology officer of Mobileye, said that the platform has made “substantial progress over the last year and is rapidly entering the testing and execution phase. The combination of vision-intense perception and mapping, differentiated sensor fusion, and driving policy solutions offers the highest levels of safety and versatility, in a cost-efficient package that will scale across all geographies and road settings.”

BMW Group, Intel, Mobileye and FCA, together with the recently announced development partners and system integrators, said that they invite and welcome additional automakers and technology suppliers to join them in adopting this autonomous driving platform in an effort to create an industry-wide solution.