The world’s fourth-largest car manufacturer, Stellantis, had its Software Day during which several announcements were made. While that might not sound of great interest to a BMW fan, a relevant piece of news emerged from the multiple plans disclosed by the automotive conglomerate and its 14 brands. The result of the merger between PSA and FCA is teaming up with the Bavarian brand to jointly work on autonomous driving technology.
STLA AutoDrive is the official name of the driving system Stellantis will use for future vehicles in which it will offer Level 2, Level 2+, and Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities. The tech will get better with time since it’s being conceived to support software revisions courtesy of over-the-air (OTA) updates.
Stellantis is also joining forces with Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, a company that produces everything from the iPhone to gaming consoles. There’s a good reason as to why we are bringing this up since a recent rumor indicates a BMW-based EV is coming as a result of a joint venture between Foxconn and Saudi Arabia.
At the moment of writing, BMW has not issued a press release about how collaborating with Stellantis will impact its own next-gen vehicles. The association isn’t all too surprising seeing as how the German luxury brand inked a deal with the defunct Fiat Chrysler Automobiles back in August 2017 to work on an autonomous driving platform together with Intel and Mobileye.
Meanwhile, we do know the new EVs based on the Neue Klasse platform due in 2025 will feature Qualcomm chips for automated driving. If recent reports are to be believed, the first NK model will be a 3 Series-like electric sedan.
Much like BMW is planning, Stellantis aims to create a new revenue stream by putting certain functions of a car behind a paywall. Taking that wall down via an OTA update to unlock previously unavailable features will come at a cost, either a one-time fee or a subscription. Other automakers also see great potential as far as boosting profits courtesy of updates chosen by the owner after taking delivery of the vehicle.