Amsterdam-based automotive corporation Stellantis, formed from a merger of French automaker Groupe PSA and Italian-American automaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced on Tuesday (Aug. 24) that it joins forces with Taiwanese electronics firm Foxconn to create a “smart cockpit” for cars that will feature navigation, voice assistance and payment services.
The joint venture, called Mobile Drive, will focus on delivering a smart cockpit solution for vehicles that will disrupt current design conventions and foster the development of intelligent connected vehicles. The partnership has combined Foxconn’s capabilities in ICT industry and smart solutions, with Stellantis’ expertise in the automotive sector, ensuring the growth of Mobile Drive.
Mobile Drive will focus on developing infotainment and telematics solutions as well as a cloud service platform, which will aim to deliver a comprehensive smart cockpit solution. Its roadmap of software innovations will include artificial intelligence-based applications, navigation, voice assistance, e-commerce store operations, and payment services integration, amongst others. The hardware innovations will be related to the smart cockpit and telematics box.
Through the exchange of intellectual property by its founding entities and the vertical integration of respective supply chains, Mobile Drive will be able to create industry-leading automotive digital services to achieve a seamless user experience in and outside the vehicle. In the future, the smart cockpit solution will not only be available to all Stellantis vehicles, but also to third-party vehicle manufacturers, expanding the reach and impact of the Mobile Drive venture as it aims to be a global leader in smart cockpit and connected vehicle solutions, the companies said in a joint statement.
The vehicle dashboard is the next frontier for tech companies like Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google LLC and Cerence Inc., according to Daniel Ives, analyst at investment firm Wedbush Inc.
“In-car software is becoming more and more important in this arms race we’re seeing play out in the automotive industry,” Ives told Detroit News. “Stellantis is protecting its turf in the dashboard with a gold-standard partner.”
Stellantis has reported pro forma net revenues of €75.3 billion for H1-2021, up 46%. Pro forma adjusted operating income was €8.6 billion, with an 11.4% margin, including record margins in North America of 16.1%.
Commenting on Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO said in a statement:
“While delivering this strong operational performance the Company also made significant progress on strategic matters related to electrification acceleration and software, which are fundamental pillars of our strategy.”
Stellantis is continuing its electrification strategy with the launch of 11 battery electric vehicles (BEV) and 10 plug-in hybrid electric vehicles over the next two years, along with hydrogen fuel cell medium vans by the end of 2021.