The Aurora Driver is Aurora's self-driving platform that comprises the hardware, software, and data services that guide vehicles powered by it safely through the world.
Fiat Chrysler stated that it intends to install the system called the "Aurora Driver" in delivery vans, without stating the specified time frame within which these vehicles would be running on the road. It designs, manufactures, and sells or distributes vehicles under the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT and Alfa Romeo brands, as well as the SRT performance designation.
A pioneer in the autonomous field, Aurora employs over 200 at offices in Pittsburgh, Palo Alto and San Francisco.
Aurora is developing the technology for autonomous vehicles, but leaving the making of cars to other companies, working alongside, rather than competing with automakers. The agreement has been announced soon after Fiat Chrysler broke off talks with Renault for a possible collaboration.
None the less, the Italian-American carmaker had already an existing tie-up with Google-owner Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo's self-driving unit, supplying Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid driverless minivans, which is now under operation in the U.S. state of Arizona.
Precisely what those vehicles will be isn't clear, but the dozens of automakers and research firms exploring autonomous technology see a number of possible options. But the discussions collapsed last week after the French government, a major shareholder in Renault, demanded guarantees that the merged company would not cut jobs or close plants in France. GM acquired Cruise Automation in 2016, while Ford is investing at least $1 billion in its partner, Argo AI.
"Everybody has hit the brakes", said Mike Ramsey, an analyst at research firm Gartner.
The deal is the latest for Aurora, co-founded by former Google vehicle executive Chris Urmson, and which has integrated its technology into sedans, SUVs, minivans and trucks. It is already in agreement with Hyundai and Volkswagen to supply its technologies.
Aurora in February raised $350 million in funding from investors that included online giant Amazon.