Amazon strikes major autotech deal with global carmakerVish Gainon January 6, 2022 at 13:10 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Amazon is the latest tech giant to show interest in the growing autotech industry after striking a years-long deal with one the world’s largest carmakers, Stellantis.

Starting in 2024, millions of cars manufactured by Amsterdam-headquartered Stellantis will feature ‘smart cockpits’ with software provided by Amazon. The e-commerce giant will also be Stellantis’ first customer for its electric vans to be deployed in its US delivery network in 2023.

The two companies made the announcement at the CES annual tech conference in Las Vegas that began yesterday. “We’re excited to collaborate with Stellantis to transform the automotive industry and reinvent the in-vehicle experience,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon.

Jassy said that Stellantis, with the help of Amazon’s expertise in cloud, AI and machine learning, can transform from a traditional carmaker to “a global leader in software-driven development and engineering”, competing with the likes of EV giant Tesla, now the world’s largest carmaker.

Amazon Web Services, Amazon Devices and Amazon Last Mile (the company’s delivery service) are some of the businesses that will be involved in the partnership with Stellantis, and a suite of updatable software products in its vehicles will integrate with the digital lives of customers.

The ’smart cockpit’ created by Stellantis and powered by Amazon will adapt to the interests and behaviours of customers and customise services accordingly. This includes recommending media content and locations to families and optimising performance on tough terrains.

Stellantis was formed a year ago after Italian-American conglomerate Fiat Chrysler merged with French carmaker PSA. The world’s sixth largest carmaker, Stellantis is listed on Milan’s Borsa Italiana, Euronext Paris and the New York Stock Exchange.

News of the partnership comes only two months after Amazon-backed EV start-up Rivian went public on the Nasdaq, whose shares, according to CNBC, fell by 11pc yesterday. Rivian named Amazon its preferred cloud provider last month and has a contract to make 100,000 vehicles for the company.

Amazon, however, clarified that its partnership with Stellantis will not affect Rivian. “We continue to be excited about our relationship with Rivian, and this doesn’t change anything about our investment, collaboration, or order size and timing,” a spokesperson told CNBC.

US car giant Ford made a similar six-year deal with Google last year to power its new range of smart cars with Android and accelerate the company’s digital transformation as it dips its wheels in the increasingly competitive sector.

Yesterday, Sony announced its debut in the EV space with plans to set up a new company called Sony Mobility in the spring that will explore the commercialisation of its prototype autonomous electric cars, named Vision-S.

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