Fiat Chrysler to join BMW-led alliance for developing self-driving cars
Fiat Chrysler will join an alliance led by BMW to develop self-driving cars, intensifying a race by carmakers and technology companies to develop “robotaxis” which can be called up via smartphone and paid for by the minute.
The market for such self-driving cabs could be worth $2 trillion by 2030, according to consultants McKinsey, as younger customers abandon car ownership in favor of a pay-per-use mobility service.
Fiat Chrysler (FCA) said it plans to put autonomous car technology into production by 2021, matching a timeframe shared by rival companies who are also developing self-driving cars.
BMW and its partners Intel and Mobileye said FCA would bring engineering and other expertise to the deal, paving the way to creating an industry-wide autonomous car platform which other carmakers could adopt.
Automakers are seeking alliances to share the high costs of developing autonomous cars, which according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan will make up about 10 to 15 percent of vehicles in Europe by 2030.
FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne cited the “synergies and economies of scale” possible in joining the alliance.
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