Stellantis and Foxconn (Hon Hai) have signed a non-binding MoU to form Mobile Drive, a joint venture aimed at accelerating time-to-market for advanced in-car and connected-car technologies.
Mobile Drive, with voting rights split equally between the two companies, 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 companies said. Mobile Drive is looking to deliver a new frontier of in-cabin information and entertainment capabilities, connected inside and outside the vehicles in which they are installed, they said.
"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, CEO 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 Foxconn chairman Young-Way Liu. "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, 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, CEO at FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Foxconn.
"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.