Fiat Chrysler is joining an alliance led by BMW for making self-driving cars, heightening a race by automakers and technology firms to establish “robotaxis” which can be contacted through smartphone and paid for by the minute.
The industry for such self-driving taxis could be valued at $2 trillion by 2030, inning accordance with experts McKinsey, as younger customers abandon car ownership in support of a pay-per-use mobility service.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) stated it prepares to put autonomous car technology into production by 2021, matching a timeframe shared by competing companies who are also developing self-driving vehicles.
BMW and its partners Intel and Mobileye stated FCA would bring engineering and other proficiency to the deal, leading the way to producing an industry-wide autonomous automobile platform which other automakers might adopt.
Automakers are looking for alliances to share the high expenses of developing autonomous vehicles, which according to consulting firm Frost & Sullivan will compromise about 10 to 15 percent of vehicles in Europe by 2030.
FCA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne mentioned the “synergies and economies of scale” possible in joining the alliance.
Marchionne has long argued that automakers need to merge in order to make it through the prohibitively high costs of making more technically innovative vehicles.
In April, he stated FCA was searching for new partners in self-driving development since “banking all of our solutions on one possible result is going to be disastrous”.
FCA is likewise part of a separate alliance with Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo to make self-driving automobiles based on Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans.