Fiat Chrysler Working with Silicon Valley Startup on Autonomous Vehicles

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Fiat Chrysler Working with Silicon Valley Startup on Autonomous Vehicles

The North American division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, FCA US, is teaming up with startup Aurora to develop self-driving commercial vehicles.

Aurora's Driver platform is described as one that uses software, hardware and data to guide a vehicle using level four autonomy.

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. Neither company offered a time frame for when such vehicles would be on the road.

"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", states Mike Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

According to sources, Aurora is working on the development of both hardware and software that enables a vehicle to drive itself.

FCA insiders have blamed French government interference for scuttling the proposed "merger-of-equals", but sources in France have, in turn, claimed that they were concerned that the deal could have fractured the two decade old Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

FCA's merger proposal called for the creation of a company 50 percent owned by FCA shareholders and 50 percent by Renault shareholders.

Waymo had once expected to begin operating a driverless taxi service in Chandler, Arizona, and other cities this year.

In Aurora, Fiat Chrysler is joining forces with a company that got a relatively late start in the field.

For the record, Aurora had secured $350 million by investors, including Amazon in February this year.

Volkswagen said past year it would work with Aurora to create self-driving cars, hoping to deploy fleets of autonomous taxis to city streets by 2021. 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.

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