Fiat Chrysler joins BMW, Intel and Mobileye in developing self-driving platform

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The joint effort by Mobileye, Intel and BMW to develop an autonomous driving platform that can be used by other automakers has a new partner: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). FCA and the group signed a memorandum of understanding to work together, which opens the door for FCA to contribute to the progress the team has already made.

Already, BMW, Intel and Mobileye (which Intel subsequently acquired) have been working on building the platform, which is designed to be scalable from SAE Level 3 to full, Level 4 and 5 self-driving. The aim is to field a viable platform for commercial deployment by 2021, and progress to date includes putting 40 self-driving test cars on the road by the end of the year.

The partnership also revealed today that it expects to make use of the 100 planed Level 4 autonomous test cars Intel and Mobileye announced they’d be deploying separately upon the closure of Intel’s acquisition of the Israeli tech company.

FCA’s contribution to the group effort will be to add additional engineering and technical resources to the mix, and to act as a vector for the eventual resulting self-driving platform. A press release announcing the news cites FCA’s “significant sales volumes, geographic reach and long-time experience in North America” as key assets it brings to the overall mix.

The race to consumer self-driving remains a game of musical chairs for the moment, and players aren’t remaining strictly committed to any one partner. This FCA development is significant, however, if the BMW/Intel tie-up hopes to help achieve critical mass as a viable option for other global automakers considering their options.