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FCA US and Aurora to partner to develop and to deploy self-driving commercial vehicles

FCA US and Aurora signed a memorandum of understanding laying the groundwork for a partnership to develop and deploy self-driving commercial vehicles.

The Aurora Driver is Aurora’s self-driving platform that comprises hardware, software, and data services. Delivering level 4 autonomy, Aurora Driver is composed of technology that is able to sense and navigate the environment without human intervention.

all Aurora-powered vehicles carry a common set of self-driving hardware and run the same self-driving software, allowing Aurora and its partners to benefit from the collective scale of all participants on the platform by reducing the cost of the hardware and allowing the software to learn from the combined experience of all vehicles on the platform.

Aurora has also partnered with other automotive OEMs including Volkswagen (earlier post) and Hyundai (earlier post).

Because the Driver is designed to support multiple automakers and transportation networks, its core hardware and software preserve its performance and safety guarantees even when applied to vehicles of different makes, models and classes, or interacting with dispatch systems from different providers.

The Aurora Driver conditions and distributes its own power, coordinates and synchronizes its own sensors, and communicates with the vehicle over a simple umbilical. To allow operation across a wide variety of vehicles, its controller is designed to quickly learn and continuously adapt to the dynamics of the vehicle it is controlling. The Driver will communicate with multiple transportation networks over a common API.

Through this proposed partnership, FCA and Aurora would integrate the Aurora Driver into FCA commercial vehicle lines. This would allow for a variety of customized solutions for commercial vehicle customers at a time when changing lifestyles and online shopping patterns are creating logistical opportunities.

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. Aurora brings a unique skillset combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self-driving.

—Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

FCA brings deep expertise in the design, development and manufacturing of a wide range of commercial vehicles, as well as established relationships with a broad range of suppliers, dealers and commercial vehicle customers needed to deploy this technology.

Founded in 2017 by three of the world’s leaders of the self-driving vehicle industry—Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson, and Drew Bagnell—Aurora’s investors include Amazon, Sequoia, Greylock and more. Aurora has offices and tests its vehicles in Palo Alto, San Francisco and Pittsburgh.

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