Stephanie Brinley
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IHS Markit Commentary and Initial Analysis by Stephanie Brinley, senior automotive analyst, IHS Markit

FIAT Chrysler Automobiles is the first automotive partner to join the autonomous driving technology group formed by BMW, Intel and Mobileye. Additionally, the group has announced that it is still on track to have 40 vehicles in real-world testing by the end of 2017.

The move is important for all parties.

BMW, Intel and Mobileye are working to build a platform that is scalable and intended to be one that other automakers could participate in. The scale allowed through other partner involvement has been a goal for the agreement from the beginning, so securing FCA as the first automaker to join is a win for them; there have been other suppliers to join in the endeavour.

For FCA, this enables access to technology that it may not have the resources or expertise to develop alone. To date, BMW’s development in commercialised vehicles is more advanced than FCA’s.

The partnership with BMW, Intel and Mobileye can enable FCA to deploy the technology faster and at less cost than otherwise possible. FCA can contribute engineering resources and experience in integration into production learned from its Waymo collaboration.

The autonomous driving technology landscape is evolving through a combination of partnerships and internal development, and this agreement is another example.

For FCA, it is another signal that the company’s future for autonomous vehicle technology will be through partnerships and industry alliances. It will be through partnerships that FCA ensures its vehicles remain relevant and competitive.

For BMW, Intel and Mobileye, it is a proof point that their concept of working together to achieve scale has merit. It is not expected that this agreement is exclusive outside of the platform they are developing, nor does it apply to how the companies deploy the technology in their businesses.

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