Amazon collaborates with global automaker on smart vehicle technology

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon and Stellantis announced a series of global, multi-year agreements that will introduce new connected experiences across millions of vehicles. (Graphic: Business Wire)

Amazon seeks to transform the in-vehicle experience for auto brands including Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep.

The tech giant is entering a series of global, multi-year agreements with Italy-based automotive conglomerate Stellantis, which seeks to accelerate its ongoing shift to becoming a sustainable mobility tech company through this relationship. Stellantis is the parent company of U.S. auto brands including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram.

Stellantis and Amazon will collaborate to deploy Amazon technology and solutions, including Amazon Devices, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Amazon Last Mile, across Stellantis’ organization. The partnership will extend across areas of the Stellantis enterprise including vehicle development, building connected in-vehicle experiences, and training automotive software engineers.

Together, the two companies intend create a suite of seamless, software-based products and services with regular over-the-air (OTA) software updates. The collaboration will focus on several specific areas, including:

STLA SmartCockpit
Amazon and Stellantis will collaborate to deliver software for an in-vehicle software platform called STLA SmartCockpit, which will run in millions of Stellantis vehicles globally starting in 2024. The platform will create personalized, intuitive in-vehicle experiences through AI-enhanced applications for entertainment, Alexa-enabled voice assistance, navigation, vehicle maintenance, e-commerce marketplaces, and payment services.

The STLA SmartCockpit platform will use Amazon products and solutions that are purpose-built for vehicles, and Stellantis will have the flexibility to create custom, brand- and vehicle-specific capabilities. The software will offer curated services and experiences via an app store displayed through an intelligent, adaptive, personalized user interface design.

STLA SmartCockpit will adapt to customers’ behaviors and interests, and integration with Amazon's smart home and security services will allow customers to proactively monitor and manage their homes. Stellantis customers will also be able to manage their vehicles from their Alexa-enabled devices at home or their Alexa smartphone app, including using custom Alexa skills to set the in-cabin temperature before getting into their vehicle, schedule service, or order accessories.

In December 2020, Amazon partnered with Blackberry to develop and market the Blackberry IVY intelligent vehicle data platform, which provides responsive in-vehicle services based on vehicle sensor data that is collected and analyzed both locally in the vehicle and in the cloud. 

Collaborative engineering and innovation
As part of this collaboration, Stellantis has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider for vehicle platforms. Together, Stellantis and Amazon plan to build cloud-enabled infrastructure for vehicle platforms, including for STLA SmartCockpit.

Stellantis plans to migrate its current vehicle data pipeline across its brands and geographies into an AWS-based data mesh. Stellantis also aims to accelerate the time to market for new digital products that leverage AWS machine learning to deliver greater personalization and more accurate predictive maintenance.

Both companies are creating a cloud-based product development environment called the “Virtual Engineering Workbench,” which provides automated workflows to manage software development and testing, high-performance simulations, machine learning model training, and data collection and analysis.

Innovation hubs and Agile-Auto Software and Data Academy
Stellantis recently announced the 
launch of a Software Academy for the upskilling and reskilling of existing and new employees. As part of this, Stellantis and AWS also plan to launch a new global learning curriculum, called the Agile-Auto Software and Data Academy, which will cover software, data and cloud technology. Stellantis will also train more than 5,000 developers and engineers by 2024 in AWS-related cloud technologies, and Stellantis and AWS will launch a global network of AWS-powered innovation hubs where experts from both companies will use AWS cloud services.

Expanding Amazon’s sustainable delivery network
Stellantis has provided tens of thousands of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) to Amazon since 2018 to support its last mile operations in North America and Europe.

In support of The Climate Pledge and its commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, Amazon will be the first commercial customer for Stellantis’ new Ram ProMaster Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) launching in 2023. Stellantis, with input from Amazon, designed the vehicle with unique last mile delivery features, and Amazon will deploy the vehicles to routes across the United States.

Building on the current relationship and as part of the long-term agreement, Stellantis and Amazon will be putting thousands of BEV ProMasters on the road every year. Amazon has also invested in electric vehicle provider Rivian and is piloting custom electric delivery vans from Rivian, and recently invested in emissions-free transportation power startup Amogy.

"Over the past two decades, Amazon has built the technology, expertise, and culture of innovation to be a world leader in cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. We’ve used these capabilities to make life better for customers around the world through products and services like Alexa, Kindle, and Fire TV, and with AWS we’ve helped thousands of companies transform themselves and their industries. We’re excited to collaborate with Stellantis to transform the automotive industry and re-invent the in-vehicle experience,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon. “We are inventing solutions that will help enable Stellantis to accelerate connected and personalized in-vehicle experiences, so that every moment in motion can be smart, safe, and tailored to each occupant. Together, we will create the foundation for Stellantis to transform from a traditional automaker into a global leader in software-driven development and engineering."

“Working together with Amazon is an integral part of our capability building roadmap, based on both developing internal competencies and decisive collaborations with tech leaders, and it will bring significant expertise to one of our key technology platforms, STLA SmartCockpit,” said Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis. “By leveraging artificial intelligence and cloud solutions, we will transform our vehicles into personalized living spaces and enhance the overall customer experience, making our vehicles the most wanted, most captivating place to be, even when not driving.”