Automotive

Published on May 19th, 2021 | by Joshua Chin

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Stellantis and Foxconn To Partner In Developing In-Car Tech

The Mobile Drive joint venture formed will supply infotainment systems to Stellantis and others. 

Foxconn is surely committed with its expansion into the auto industry. That is because not long after signing partnership deals with both Geely and Fisker to contract produce EVs in the future, the Taiwanese consumer electronics producer has also recently cemented a collaboration deal with Stellantis to develop infotainment and in-car connectivity systems. 

Taking the form of Mobile Drive, this 50:50 joint venture between the fourth largest auto conglomerate in the world and the Apple’s largest Asian manufacturing partner has been envisioned to accelerate the development timelines of its infotainment and in-vehicle connectivity offerings. By leveraging Stellantis’ global vehicle design and engineering expertise and Foxconn’s global development software and supply chain expertise, this new partnership aims to ‘bring innovative in-vehicle user experiences enabled by advanced consumer electronics, HMI interfaces and services that will exceed customer expectations’.

Operating as an automotive supplier that will be competitively bidding to supply software solutions and related hardware for Stellantis and other interested automakers, Mobile Drive intends to ‘deliver a new frontier of in-cabin information and entertainment capabilities, seamlessly connected inside and outside the vehicles in which they are installed.’ What this means in simple English though is that expect the systems developed through this collaboration to place emphasis on touchscreens, with various other features like biometric recognition, an AI in-car personal assistant and 5G communication capabilities are likely to be on the cards too. 

Continuing the topic of expectations, the Mobile Drive joint venture is expected to become yet another revenue stream for both Stellantis and Foxconn. This is especially seeing as upgraded over-the-air services, e-commerce opportunities and optional vehicle features throughout the vehicle’s lifecycle are supposedly also to be offered by this new software arm. 

It is yet unknown thus far as to the finer details regarding Mobile Drive’s upcoming works, or which Stellantis product will be the first to feature its in-car tech. Though Stellantis’ Chief Software Officer Yves Bonnefont has stated that developmental work for a precise project has already broken ground, so expect news on that front to come soon enough. 

And just as a taster of what could be forthcoming from this partnership, Foxconn and FCA (now part of Stellantis) has previously collaborated in the development of its Airflow Vision concept that was unveiled at CES 2020. A futuristic MPV-esque vehicle, it featured a multi-screen infotainment display that enabled information to be shared with all occupants just by swiping. 

PRESS RELEASE: Stellantis NV (NYSE / MTA / Euronext Paris: STLA) (“Stellantis”) and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., (“Foxconn”) (TPE: 2317), together with its subsidiary FIH Mobile Ltd., (“FIH”) (HKG:2038), today announced the signing of a non-binding memorandum of understanding to form Mobile Drive, a 50/50 voting rights joint venture aimed at accelerating development timelines to bring innovative in-vehicle user experiences enabled by advanced consumer electronics, HMI interfaces and services that will exceed customer expectations.

Mobile Drive will combine Stellantis’ global vehicle design and engineering expertise with Foxconn’s global development in the rapidly changing software and hardware realms of smartphones and consumer electronics. The combination will position Mobile Drive at the forefront of global efforts to deliver a new frontier of in-cabin information and entertainment capabilities, seamlessly connected inside and outside the vehicles in which they are installed.

“Today, there’s something that matters just as much as beautiful design or innovative technology, it’s how the features inside our vehicles improve the lives of our customers,” said Carlos Tavares, Chief Executive Officer at Stellantis. “Software is a strategic move for our industry and Stellantis intends to lead with Mobile Drive, a company that will enable the swift development of connectivity features and services that mark the next great evolution of our industry, just as electrification technology has.”

“The vehicles of the future will be increasingly software driven and software defined. Customers today and, in the future, demand and expect ever increasing software driven and creative solutions to connect the drivers and passengers with the vehicle inside and out. Mobile Drive will meet and exceed these expectations with teams of designers and software and hardware engineers,” said Chairman Young Liu at Foxconn. “This is a natural extension of Foxconn’s global leadership in the development and application of smart technologies to improve the quality of life of consumers around the world.”

All development by Mobile Drive will be co-owned by Stellantis and Foxconn. The Netherlands-based joint venture will operate as an automotive supplier, competitively bidding to supply software solutions and related hardware for Stellantis and other interested automakers.

“Leveraging Foxconn’s extensive knowledge of user experience and software development in mobile ecosystems, Mobile Drive will offer the disruptive smart cockpit solution that will seamlessly integrate the automobile into the driver’s mobile-centric lifestyle,” Calvin Chih, Chief Executive Officer at FIH.

“With this partnership, we will push the boundaries in connected car technology and bring immersive experiences yet to be imagined,” said Yves Bonnefont, Chief Software Officer at Stellantis. “Mobile Drive ultimately gives us the agility we need to provide the digital experience of the future at the speed our customers demand.”

Mobile Drive will focus on infotainment, telematics and cloud service platform development with software innovations expected to include artificial intelligence-based applications, 5G communication, upgraded over-the-air services, e-commerce opportunities and smart cockpit integrations.

Foxconn and Stellantis previously partnered in the development of the Airflow Vision design concept, displayed at CES®, the world’s most influential technology event. The concept demonstrated the thinking of both companies in a next-generation of premium transportation and user experience.

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About the Author

Automotive journalist. Professional work on dsf.my and automacha.com. Personal writing found at driveeveryday.me. Instagram: @driveeveryday



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