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ROME - Italian-American carmaker Fiat-Chrysler (FCA) has joined a project to develop self-driving cars led by Germany's BMW Group, computer giant Intel and its Israeli subsidiary Mobileye.

"FCA will bring engineering and other technical resources and expertise to the cooperation, as well as its significant sales volumes, geographic reach and long-time experience in North America," a joint statement said Wednesday.

The group said it was on track to have 40 autonomous test vehicles on the road by the end of 2017.

The project, which was launched in July last year, aims to make self-driving vehicles a reality by 2021.

"With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art [autonomous driving platform] solution on a global scale," said BMW chief executive Harald Krueger.

Companies involved "invite and welcome additional automakers and technology suppliers to join them in adopting this autonomous driving platform in an effort to create an industry-wide solution," the statement concluded. 

- DPA