It will be the first of the FCA marques to do so.
While Maserati is working to re-position itself as a brand beyond BMW and Mercedes luxury, it's still lagging behind with its technology. Chief among them is self-driving tech. Although it's not impossible to develop this in-house, it would take years and cost money Maserati doesn't have at the moment. What to do? Find alternative solutions.
According to Bloomberg, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Chairman John Elkann has just announced that Maserati will be the first of the FCA marques to adopt the self-driving technology being co-developed with BMW. Specifically, this tech will provide assisted-driving features for the highway. No specific date as to when this rollout will begin was announced.
In 2017, Maserati joined a consortium led by BMW that is focusing on developing self-driving technologies. Furthermore, Maserati continues to work with Waymo, which is already testing specifically modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans with advanced autonomous technologies.
This announcement is especially good news for Maserati because, well, it could use it. Sales have not been good lately. In the first business quarter of this year, it suffered a 32 percent sales decrease compared to the same time last year. But a comprehensive plan has been put in place to turn things around.
Almost exactly a year ago, FCA announced its five-year business plan for all of its brands, including Maserati. By 2022, a number of changes are set to take place, among them a new D-segment SUV, a redesigned Levante SUV and Quattroporte sedan, a heavily updated Ghibli, a total of eight plug-ins and four all-electric models, and, finally, the arrival of the production-spec Alfieri coupe and convertible. The latter two are set to likely replace the aging Gran Turismo coupe and convertible. The plan also called for Level 3 autonomy for some of its vehicles - a direct benefit from joining this consortium.