Fiat Chrysler Automobiles U.S. is partnering up with autonomous systems provider Aurora Innovation in an attempt to develop and build self-driving commercial vehicles.
According to FCA officials, this move is meant to help them explore the possibilities of using Aurora’s systems on the RAM and Fiat Professional brand vehicle lines, although RAM remains the main focus. Prototypes could be on the road within the next 3-5 years, reports Autonews Europe.
“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,” stated FCA CEO Mike Manley. “Aurora brings a unique skill set combination with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self driving.”
As far as Fiat Chrysler is concerned, this collaboration is the first that could help them directly bring autonomous technology into their product lines, although previous projects included selling Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans for use in Waymo’s self-driving vehicle operations.
Who is Aurora?
This 2-year old start-up was founded Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, three individuals who played significant roles in the development of self-driving tech at Google, Tesla and Uber, respectively. Their new product is called Aurora Driver and it is capable of Level 4 automation – meaning no human intervention or oversight is needed.
“We are thrilled to forge a partnership with FCA US to develop a meaningful business model for delivering the benefits of self-driving commercial vehicles,” said Aurora Co-founder Sterling Anderson.
Currently, Aurora is also working with the likes of VW, Hyundai and Dyton.