Stellantis Leaps into Software Bed with Amazon

Stellantis will fulfil the prophesy for the automobile’s future that many in the industry have voiced by entering a wide-ranging commercial agreement with digital giant Amazon.

The two companies have announced a series of global, multi-year agreements both in software and hardware for future products from both. Stellantis hopes to accelerate its shift to becoming a sustainable mobility tech company through the relationship involving Amazon Devices, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Amazon Last Mile.

The companies will collaborate to deploy Amazon’s technology and software expertise across the automaker’s organization, including vehicle development, building connected in-vehicle experiences and training the next generation of automotive software engineers. Together, the pair hope to create a suite of software-based products and services that integrate with customers’ digital lives and add value over time through regular over-the-air (OTA) software updates.

They aim to deliver software for STLA SmartCockpit, which will run in millions of Stellantis vehicles globally from 2024. The software-defined platform is expected to bring consumers’ digital lives into the vehicles attempting to create personalized, intuitive on-board experiences through AI-enhanced applications for entertainment, Alexa-enabled voice assistance, navigation, vehicle maintenance, ecommerce marketplaces and payment services.

The platform will use Amazon products and solutions that are purpose-built for vehicles, while Stellantis will have the flexibility to create custom, brand- and vehicle-specific capabilities. The software will offer curated services and experiences through an app store displayed through an adaptive user interface design that presents targeted information and features tailored to each vehicle occupant’s tracked and known preferences.

It hopes to adapt to customers’ behaviors and interests, from the start of a journey at home, on the road, or off. For example, Chrysler Pacifica vehicles could offer a family-trip planner that recommends media content, points of interest, restaurants, and other fun stops along the route. Jeep vehicles could come with a digital off-road “coach” to help customers calibrate the vehicle and optimize performance before tackling tough terrain.

Integration with Amazon’s smart home and security services should allow users to monitor and manage their homes while on the go. 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.

On the hardware side, Amazon will be the first commercial customer for Stellantis’ new Ram ProMaster BEV launching in 2023. The two companies jointly designed the vehicle with last mile delivery features and Amazon will deploy the vehicles to routes across the US. Building on the current relationship and as part of the long-term agreement, both companies expect to be putting thousands of BEV ProMasters on the road every year.

Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis, said: “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. 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.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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