In the continuously changing mobility scenario, Fiat Group is addressing mobility needs with respect to traffic management, customer involvement and alternative mobility solutions. Examples include a variety of navigation and hands-free features on Group vehicles.
In Italy, projects devoted to research, development and experimentation of innovative technologies for new mobility models are in process, as well as partnerships in car-sharing services to provide solutions to customers that are affordable and economically viable.
In the United States, the Group has been deeply engaged in research on future social and technological trends that will affect nearly every aspect of our business - from design to manufacturing to marketing to human resources. This research is organized around five driving forces: cities, lifestyle, work, health and energy. The findings from this research will enable the Group to more successfully navigate the shifting landscape and anticipate evolving consumer needs and behaviors.
Improving traffic management
Traffic flow is a key factor that can be optimized to reduce travel time, traffic congestion, and therefore fuel consumption and air pollution. The cutting-edge applications offered by the Group are an expression of its commitment to encourage efficient mobility. The Blue&Me TomTom2 (available on the Lancia Ypsilon, Fiat 500, Panda, Punto, Qubo, Doblò and Ducato) offers drivers peace of mind in city traffic through exclusive LIVE services. In countries where the services are available, LIVE uses the TomTom HD Traffic system to cross-check traffic data with a dynamic calculation of journey routes, providing real-time updates on traffic jams and slowdowns.
Similarly, on Chrysler Group’s Uconnect system, SiriusXM Traffic works with the vehicle’s navigation system to display real-time updates on traffic speed, flow and accidents to assist drivers in avoiding congested areas. In 2013, the SiriusXM Traffic service was available on 24% of navigation system units offered in the United States.
In 2013, Magneti Marelli completed the development of the first product based on the open source GENIVI(1) platform. Along with the product development, Magneti Marelli has developed a methodology for the usage of technologies and tools specifically designed for developing, documenting and testing software based on Open Source according to the V-Cycle paradigm of software development. Further activities are already in place to add features enhancing the connectivity domain with both user devices and with Cloud-based services, that will allow the gathering of big data from the car for additional services and features including those related to fuel economy and safety.
Magneti Marelli has developed an eToll system for France. The solution is based on cellular (GSM/GPRS) and multi-constellation satellite technology (GPS, Galileo and Glonass), which is combined with short-range communication modules (DSRC) already used extensively in this type of market. The installation of this device on vehicles will make it possible to independently track the route covered and obtain the information needed to calculate the toll, thus limiting the infrastructure needed. In addition, the system will develop differentiated payment schemes based on specific parameters, such as kilometers covered, time, geographical area and municipalities crossed, making it possible to replace the road tax altogether.
The eToll service marks the first step toward enabling governments to implement different road policies aimed, for instance, at changing driving habits, optimizing infrastructure, and reducing environmental impacts. Starting in 2015, countries such as Germany, Belgium and Russia will adopt this service.
(1)GENIVI is an alliance consisting of over 150 companies located around the world, whose main goal is to guide the widespread adoption of an open-source platform for IVI devices.
Involving the customer
The environmental impact of vehicles is strongly influenced by consumer driving behavior and the level of vehicle maintenance. With this in mind, Fiat Group goes beyond the sale of its products by promoting environmentally conscious and eco-friendly driving.
Fiat Group has invested in the eco:Drive system, software offering personalized tips to drivers based on driving style, hence reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Eco:Drive is currently available in Europe, Brazil, the United States and Canada for almost all Fiat and Fiat Professional models (500 and 500L, Punto, Bravo, Qubo, Doblò, Linea, Panda, Grande Punto Van, Punto Evo Van, Bravo Van, Fiorino, Doblò Cargo and Ducato). The software includes specific functions to measure energy savings associated with the Start&Stop system and the use of natural gas. In Europe, the data collected from eco:Drive’s best users confirmed that fuel consumption can be reduced by up to 16% using this system. By the end of 2013, more than 94,000 customers, including more than 11,500 new users in 2013 alone, had used the software, with CO2 savings exceeding 5,800 tons/year.
New features are continuously being developed in order to make eco:Drive more fun and engaging. In 2013, a new version of the software, called eco:Drive LIVE, was made available on the Fiat 500L Living and Trekking. Interfacing with the new Uconnect 5" touchscreen multimedia system, it provides users with real-time tips to drive in a more eco-friendly manner. The eco:Drive Mobile application, compatible with Android, Blackberry and Symbian smartphones and Apple iPads, is also available. It provides drivers with immediate, direct feedback.
Fiat Group also plays an active role in encouraging young people to drive responsibly. One example is the Group’s involvement in the Ecopatente project sponsored for the 4th year in 2013 by the Italian environmental association Legambiente, which so far has involved more than 2,500 driving schools and awarded 45,000 Ecopatente licenses. In 2013, the Group was one of the project’s main partners, along with CONFARCA and UNASCA, two nation-wide industry associations representing 70% of Italian driving schools. Students attending these schools learn how to use vehicles properly and in an eco-friendly manner, by focusing on topics such as respect for the environment and safety. As proof of the civic and social value attributed to this project by institutions, in 2013, the Ecopatente project was also promoted in 2,500 high schools where participating students earned course credits.
The Group also seeks to focus customer attention on vehicle maintenance, which can affect fuel consumption and emission reduction.
Alternative mobility solutions
Among the critical topics discussed at Fiat Group's 2013 stakeholder engagement activities was the concept of new ways to use vehicles. Vehicles today are more flexible and customized than ever before, and are designed for both city and country driving.
Looking toward the future of mobility and the potential response to a changing market environment, the Group has launched various initiatives that illustrate its commitment to meet these new challenges.
Enjoy is the new advanced, Italian car-sharing service ENI launched in Milan in partnership with Fiat and Trenitalia. Its goal is to reduce traffic and improve the quality of life for those who live and work in the city. For this project, Fiat provided Enjoy with a fleet of about 650 Fiat 500 and 500L vehicles. Innovative features of the service include online or smartphone app sign-up and management, as well as the ability to instantly select from a pool of available vehicles parked at locations around the city and to leave the vehicle at any of the approved parking facilities within the service coverage area.
Naturally, youth have an important part to play in any discussion about the future of mobility.
The Fiat Likes U project was launched by Fiat in 2012 in collaboration with the Italian Ministries of Education and Environment, for students from eight Italian universities in Turin, Rome, Milan, Salerno, Parma, Cosenza, Pisa and Catania. For the first time in Europe, a car manufacturer promoted environmental awareness and eco-friendly use of vehicles through a three-pronged approach based on Mobility, Education and Employment. The project included a car-sharing service available to students free of charge, scholarships, paid training programs and lectio magistralis.
The initiative was highly successful. More than 6,000 students used the eight vehicles (Panda and 500L) for over 28,000 trips totaling 320,000 km. Moreover, there have been more than 180,000 hits on the dedicated likesu.fiat.it website.
In 2013, Fiat decided to extend the project to other universities across Europe through the Erasmus study abroad network. The first expansion of the initiative was at the Royal College of Art in London (UK). The dialogue with the English students started with Fiat Two of a Kind, an important educational program that will allow them to get a closer look at Centro Stile Fiat. Through lectio magistralis by prominent representatives from this facility, they can participate in a contest that awards the best designs applied to Fiat Panda and Fiat 500 models. In addition, Fiat will offer the Royal College of Art students a free car-sharing service with Panda and 500 vehicles. The 10 winners will be offered internships in Turin at the Centro Stile in 2014 and 2015 and have the opportunity to learn more about Italian culture and Fiat Group brand values.
Fiat Group is also an official global partner of Expo Milano 2015, a world's fair not oriented toward trade, but rather to comprehending the challenges that face all of humanity. The theme of EXPO 2015, Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, is closely aligned with the Group's commitment to respecting the environment. In fact, Fiat Group will provide a fleet of vehicles, designed for sustainable mobility, for getting around inside the Expo and as courtesy cars for the many delegations of visitors coming from every corner of the globe.
Reducing polluting emissions
As part of its environmental commitment, Fiat Group’s work to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions is paired with an even greater effort to develop devices that reduce polluting emissions, including particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
Regulations with respect to the maximum polluting emissions for vehicles are becoming increasingly stringent and are affecting future requirements for automakers.
The Group has also been developing solutions to reduce emission levels even more, to comply with the upcoming Euro 6 standard. This standard will introduce mandatory, more stringent limits, particularly on NOx, for all new type-approved models in Europe as of September 2014, and for all new registrations as of September 2015. By the end of 2013, the Group had pulled ahead compliance with the Euro 6 standards on all gasoline vehicles.
For diesel engines, MultiJet II technology represents an important step toward compliance with Euro 6 emission standards, as it ensures better combustion while lowering the need for exhaust gas after-treatment. The Group is developing further innovations to offer Euro 6-compliant, cost-effective solutions for the entire engine range.
In the United States, Chrysler Group has already complied with the revised Mobile Source Air Toxic (MSAT) regulation issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency, expected to come into effect in 2014. Plans for 2014 include expanding the portfolio of extremely clean Partial Zero-Emission Vehicles (PZEV) to the four-cylinder Tigershark engine, and introducing new products compliant to California LEV III Low Emission Vehicles. LEV III is the California Air Resources Board’s new regulation that introduces the most stringent tailpipe emissions in the world.