How Stellantis wants to become the automotive Microsoft
Software is the new gold in the automotive industry. Stellantis Group has unveiled its digital ambitions and wants to generate 4 billion euros by 2026 from software products and subscriptions. These revenues are expected to fivefold (20 billion euros) by the end of the decade.
Replacing the old system of making money through the options on a car by offering customers software applications, gradually turns car companies into tech providers with similarly high margins. Immense growth is expected in the field of connected vehicles.
Stellantis is rolling out three AI platforms alongside strengthening its collaborations with three already signed big names in the industry to meet these goals.
The first is called STLA brain. As of 2024, this new software platform enables over-the-air updates and subscriptions. Think of RAM owners getting more payload, Alfa customers paying for a more engaging drive or receiving more horsepower (within the restrictions for emissions compliance). It comes as open-sourced, in contrast to the current closed system.
STLA SmartCockpit builds around human-interface environments for cars, jointly developed with Apple’s assembly partner Foxconn. Its primary task is to shape ultra-modern but diverse digital landscapes for the interiors across its eleven brands.
Lastly, there’s AutoDrive. This entails an earlier agreement from 2017 with BMW on developing an architecture for autonomous drive. Stellantis also has a project with Google subsidiary Waymo in this field. For its professional branches, they will work on autonomous commercial vehicles.
A second preliminary agreement with Foxconn arose in the wake of Software Day, where the digital plans were announced. With the Taiwanese company, the car group will develop four families of microcontrollers, which should suffice to cover 80 percent of its car production.
The deal is supposed to protect better against shortages as experienced today, while it leverages Foxconn as a supplier of semiconductors in the automotive industry. Its know-how mainly lies in microcontrollers for consumer electronics.
In May of this year, both parties agreed to work together on the above mentioned smart cockpit technology under a new company called Mobile Drive. A jointly developed EV primarily for the Chinese market is expected. in a later phase