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Stellantis to invest in auto, mobility tech startups

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The automaker has been using the digital Safety Cloud warning system from Haas Alert that notifies drivers of nearby emergency vehicles and hazards in real time through messages on the dashboard screen. Stellantis debuted the technology, which it calls the Emergency Vehicle Alert System and can run on vehicles from 2018 and later, at CES in January.

Trpko Blazevski, Stellantis’ manager of global digital innovation, said the automaker first tried sending warnings with no audible beep during testing. It added beeps to grab a driver’s attention based on customer feedback.

The Haas Alert team was on-site during the early testing rounds working with Stellantis, Blazevski said during the startup presentation.

Tavares said Stellantis’ goal is to give startups space to work — not to control them, bog them down or stifle their creativity. But the automaker will be there when its manufacturing and engineering expertise are needed.

“We stay at some distance to make sure that we not in any way, shape or form damage their agility or limit their speed of progress,” Tavares said. “We are an enabler and we don’t want to be in a control mode.

“Of course, things happen. The startup may need more support, including financial support, then things can happen in terms of shareholdings, but that’s not the primary goal.”

Tavares said collaborating with startups will help them grow while enabling Stellantis to transform itself into an “automotive tech company.”

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