Stellantis, Foxconn establish software JV

May 19, 2021 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Stellantis, Foxconn establish software JV
Car manufacturer Stellantis, formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Group, and manufacturing services provider Foxconn are to set up a joint venture to jointly develop cockpit technologies for connected cars in the future.

Mobile Drive will focus on the development of infotainment, telematics and cloud service platforms. Specifically, the initial aim is to develop a connected car cockpit. Targeted developments include AI-based applications, 5G communications, enhanced over-the-air services, e-commerce capabilities and smart cockpit integrations.

The operations of the Mobile Drive joint venture, in which both parent companies will hold a 50:50 stake, will primarily involve the development of future software systems. Mobile Drive is positioned as a tier-one supplier. Its products are not to be exclusive to Stellantis - the company can also offer its developments to other car manufacturers, including direct competitors of Stellantis.

The most important driving force behind the formation of Mobile Drive is to speed up the development process. "This creation will increase the speed at which we can add new features to our vehicles," said PSA CEO Carlos Tavares. The model is the development in other areas of consumer electronics, namely the smartphone: just as software-based upgrades are possible and established as a business model in this sector, Stellantis - like other OEMs - wants to offer new functions for the cars through updates, which are certainly mostly paid for. The availability of updateable software and the mechanisms for its updates is a key element for a future expansion of the OEMs' business models.

It is also about enabling innovative user experiences in the car via the concept of the "software-defined car". "Software is a strategic issue for our industry and Stellantis wants to be a leader with Mobile Drive," said Tavares. "Mobile Drive is a company that will enable the rapid development of connectivity features and services. This marks the next great evolution of our industry, just as electrification has done."

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