There has been a lot of buzz lately surrounding self-driving commercial vehicles. A national shortage of truck drivers, the inherent inefficiency, not to mention additional expense have all combined to create a big push to get self-driving commercial vehicles on the road as soon as possible.
FCA is the latest manufacturer to take on this monumental task, partnering with Aurora, a silicon valley self-driving software company that has backing from Amazon and Sequoia Capital.
Aurora’s self-driving platform comprises the hardware, software, and data services that guide autonomous vehicles safely through the world.
The system can currently achieve level 4 autonomy, which means the Aurora Driver is able to sense and navigate the environment completely independent of human intervention.
The two companies plan to eventually incorporate their self-driving tech into RAM’s line of commercial vehicles. 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 difficulties, as well as 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,” said Mike Manley, Chief Executive Officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. “Aurora brings a unique skill set combined with advanced and purposeful technology that complements and enhances our approach to self-driving.”
This could be a great partnership for FCA, acting as the push into the vehicle tech world which the company has thus far been lacking. There are many applications for FCA self-driving commercial vehicles, and potential customers might include, Amazon, FedEx, and beyond.