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Fiat Chrysler is working with two household names to bring self-driving cars to the masses.
The auto company has held separate talks with Uber and Amazon to partner on the creation of fully autonomous vehicles. The news comes one month after Fiat became the first car company to agree to a deal with Google to test the latter’s autonomous technology in 100 Chrysler Pacifica hybrids.
Uber’s deal with Fiat would be similar to the auto company’s deal with Google. Under the terms of the deal, Fiat would provide Uber with cars to integrate Uber’s self-driving technology, which it has been developing in Pittsburgh for the last year. The ride-hailing company recently announced that it would start testing its fully autonomous Ford Fusion on roads in the Pennsylvania city.
Uber is developing this technology because it wants to eliminate the need to hire drivers, which would allow the company to collect 100% of the revenue from its rides. CEO Travis Kalanick said last year that if Tesla, arguably the company at the forefront of self-driving car technology, can make a fully autonomous car, then he would buy every one of them.
The Amazon deal, meanwhile, would focus on driverless deliveries. Amazon has been quickly increasing its shipping and logistics capabilities, and it has the potential to reduce shipping costs by eliminating the need for delivery drivers. This is one of the main reasons Amazon has been aggressively pushing for drone deliveries.
If Fiat can offer driverless cars to Amazon, then the e-commerce titan would have autonomous delivery options through both air and land.
Fiat wants to secure these partnerships to compensate for its own lack of resources in some areas. Fiat has tremendous auto manufacturing capabilities that would be enhanced by its partners’ technologies. Other automakers, meanwhile, are developing self-driving car technology internally and are competing with tech companies directly.
John Greenough, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on self-driving cars that examines the major strides automakers and tech companies have made to overcome the barriers currently preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the market. Further, the report examines global survey results showing where fully autonomous cars are highly desired.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Three barriers have been preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the road: 1) high technological component prices; 2) varying degrees of consumer trust in the technology; and 3) relatively nonexistent regulations. However, in the past six months, there have been many advances in overcoming these barriers.
- Technology has been improving as new market entrants find innovative ways to expand on existing fully autonomous car technology. As a result, the price of the components required for fully autonomous cars has been dropping.
- Consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicle technology has increased in the past two years.
- California became the first US state to propose regulations. California’s regulations stipulate that a fully autonomous car must have a driver behind the wheel at all times, discouraging Google’s and Uber’s idea of a driverless taxi system.
In full, the report:
- Examines consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicles
- Identifies technological advancements that have been made in the industry
- Analyzes the cost of fully autonomous technology and identifies how cost is being reduced
- Explains the current regulations surrounding fully autonomous cars
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The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the emerging world of self-driving cars.