Fiat Chrysler Partners With Aurora For Autonomous Commercial Cars

A Fiat car on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit
A Fiat car on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 16, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Autonomous car software startup Aurora and auto giant Fiat Chrysler have announced an agreement this weekend focusing on the development of self-driving commercial vehicles. The agreement will allow the FCA group to use Aurora's global autonomous management system in Ram and Fiat vehicles used for delivery and other commercial tasks.

Through this alliance, FCA will explore the possibilities of installing Aurora's autonomous driving technology in both Fiat Professional and RAM commercial vehicles. The autonomous driving system of Aurora is called "Aurora Driver" and in the most updated version allows a level 4 autonomous, one step to total automation.

The objective of the Fiat and Aurora partnership is clear, to put into the market Fiat and RAM commercial vehicles with a high level of automation that will make delivering products in small or huge quantity easier for companies worldwide. However, the FCA group is taking it one step at a time making sure that this would work well. It is a long-term project since the first test vehicles will not hit the road in three to five years.

For a long time, FCA has been working in the field of autonomous driving and wants to really advance in it. Fiat has been working with Waymo, Google's autonomous vehicle unit, to build Chrysler hybrid minivans. Furthermore, Google uses the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid as test vehicles for almost all their new software for automotive.

Aurora is among the dozens of startups automakers and technology companies working in autonomous vehicle systems, eager to capitalize on a radical shift in the transportation industry brought about by advances in machine learning.

Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has highlighted that the reason they chose to partner with Aurora and not any other software company is that Aurora offers a unique set of skills combined with advanced and useful technology that complements their autonomous driving approach.

Aurora is a company developing software, hardware, and data service in the automobile industry. The company was founded in 2017 by Chris Urmson, former head of Google's autonomous vehicles; Sterling Anderson, former chief of Tesla Autopilot; and Drew Bagnell, ex-leader of autonomous Uber vehicles. Having these experienced people behind it allows the company to be one of the most distinguished specialized technological companies in the field of autonomous driving. In February, Aurora reported that it raised $ 530 million in the round of capital contribution.

Aurora's headquarters is located in Palo Alto, California (United States). For more than a year, they have worked with other car brands such as Hyundai and Volkswagen. We also know that Byton's future electric cars will be equipped with their systems.

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