On Sunday, the 9th of June 2019, autonomous auto software start-up Aurora, headquartered in Palo Alto, had issued a statement saying that the California-based company would team up with the Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler in order to develop self-driving software platform for commercial vehicles, remaking a latest augmentation of an automaker with a fast-growing Silicon Valley startup.
Their self-driving system, which is called the Aurora Driver, consists of hardware, software and data services that collectively enable Level 4 automation, which means vehicles are capable of navigating themselves without human intervention or oversight.
Through the partnership, FCA officials say, they'll explore the possibilities of installing Aurora's system on the Ram and Fiat Professional brand vehicle lines, with Ram the initial focus.
"As part of FCA's autonomous vehicle strategy, we will continue to work with strategic partners to address the needs of customers in a rapidly changing industry", said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. FCA also signed a partnership with Waymo to supply the company with Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. The two companies also hoped the combination would strengthen their operations in Europe, where increasing environmental standards are forcing vehicle companies to invest heavily in new technology. The merger plans were also complicated by Renault's two-decade alliance with Nissan, which is also a Renault shareholder.
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The merger is set to take place amidst believes that it may take longer for autonomous vehicles to run on the roads, sources mentioned. Aurora has offices and tests its vehicles in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. "They're backing off from the aggressive plans they had been talking about". In the past Ford said it aimed to have driverless cars with no steering wheel and no pedals in mass production by 2021. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (FCA) family of companies. By the time Aurora was formed, Waymo and GM's Cruise had been working on their technology for four years or more.
In Aurora, Fiat Chrysler has a partner whose three co-founders are considered to be among the leading lights of the push to make self-driving cars a reality.
The company closed a $530 million funding round in February that included investment from Amazon. With Fiat Chrysler, Aurora intends to "develop a meaningful business model for delivering the benefits of self-driving commercial vehicles", Anderson said in a statement.