Stellantis is partnering with Taiwanese iPhone maker Foxconn to form a new joint venture to develop a new generation of automotive cockpits.
The new joint venture, Mobile Drive, combines 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 two companies said.
The combination will position Mobile Drive to deliver a new frontier of in-cabin information and entertainment capabilities, seamlessly connected inside and outside the vehicles.
“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, Stellantis CEO.
“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.”
Foxconn eager to move into auto space
Foxconn, which recently signed an agreement with Fisker, appears eager to make its mark in the automotive sector just as it has building products for Apple and Microsoft as well as under other brand names, such as Sharp, that it controls.
“The vehicles of the future will be increasingly software driven and software defined,” said Chairman Young Liu at Foxconn. “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. 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.”
Structure of the deal
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.
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, which demonstrated the thinking of both companies in a next-generation of premium transportation and user experience.