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FCA's Autonomous Driving/Self-Driving Car tech tie-up with GOOGLE

Discussion in 'Fiat Global News' started by prabhjot, May 2, 2016.

  1. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,447
    delhi ncr
    http://europe.autonews.com/article/...le-owner-alphabet-near-self-driving-cars-deal

    http://www.automobilemag.com/news/fca-ceo-tieup-google-apple-makes-sense/

    Marchionne, at the fca press conference at the recent Detroit Auto Show laughingly dismissed the idea of spending billions on developing new self-driving, fullly-autonomous technology, like all the other biggest car companies are doing (the Germans, including VW group, in a combined way.)

    His logic is simple and impeccable. He says this tech will need standards (for inter-operability with other cars, + the internet of things, in this case the sensors on roads, traffic junctions, bridges, the traffic police, etc) and once it's established in the marketplace it will become fully 'commoditized'.

    i.e., the supplier firms will provide the tech, as is already the case with say transmissions (e.g., ZF or Aisin)

    He feels it is downright financially irresponsible of car firms (that already earn some of the lowest returns on capital invested of ANY industry, mature or new) to waste money independently and competitively developing such tech, since this stuff is a mere 'commodity' input that will NOT add to the usp of their cars or brands.

    Hence: he been saying he's happy to do a 'deal' with the Silicon Valley firm(s) that have stolen a march on the car companies.

    Namely, in this case: GOOGLE, the firm that's far ahead of any other at developing, testing and honing this tech. Google/Alphabet of course wants to do an android here: offer the tech to any and everyone, achieve a defacto or dejure 'standard' status or at least a ubiquity, from which it'll make money by......getting access to car users' private mobility information/data etc.

    This IS the very reason the biggest firms have been avoiding Google, the unequivocal leader at this tech: they don't want to lose rights-to that data, and feel that they have the scale to try to set-standards on their own.

    FCA is large enough (3/4th largest in the usa as well as europe) to enable Google to come close-enough to an Android-like ubiquity/standard-setting-reach/influence but not so-large as to be unwilling to 'deal' with a non-traditional/disruptive-auto-company lile Google on the issue of data-ownership.

    Marchionne's whole approach with all of fca's brands and models is to ONLY, to the extent the marketplace allows, offer/develop high-usp, differentiated, 'authentic' and non-commoditised models.

    By definition FCA, then, is not interested in trying to compete on ubiquitous, un-differentiated, standards-based tech like autonomous driving (which will be dictated to a large degree by government regulations and insurance companies etc.)

    Or able to spare the cash: it is already well-into (4/5 new Fiats already this year, a new maserati, a new Alfa+new chrysler +new Jeep+new plants in China, all in 2016 etc)....a 50billion$ new-model etc investment cycle through to 2018-2020, is relaunching no-less than the whole Alfa romeo brand globally, is fast-expanding Jeep global manufacture and new-models, replacing the entire Fiat Brazil lineup, adding further to the Fiat Europe lineup, replacing all the old pre-merger leftover models in the usa market, new Maserati-s etc etc.
  2. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,447
    delhi ncr
    http://www.autonews.com/article/201...driving-prototypes-based-on-chrysler-pacifica

    The 'deal' has been announced by both Google and FCA!

    This deal, all else being equal, puts FCA far ahead of ALL other car companies, including the German firms and Toyota+GM+Ford, when it comes to actually deploying and integrating fully-autonomous, self-drivingtech into its models in the usa and in europe.

    In the process it ends up saving FCA billions of $ in redundant r&d spending, which is any case is not in conformity with marchionne+elkann's focus on engineering and brand-identity/history/authenticity based cars that embody what carfirms do best: engineering and design+branding, as opposed to what they have no 'comparative advantage' in: IT-consumer-technology.

    Meanwhile Google, in alliance with other firms including Uber and ford, has setup a 'coalition' to lobby the usa govt+regulators+the public for hospitable laws that are to govern self-driving car technology deployment, tech and inter-operability standards, insurance/liability rules, etc.
    asimpleson likes this.
  3. prabhjot

    prabhjot Esperto

    Messages:
    2,447
    delhi ncr

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