Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has signed a memorandum of understanding to join the autonomous vehicle development program led by the BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye.

The Italian-American car company says it will contribute engineering and other technical resources to the development of the new self-driving car platform, as well as large sales volumes and a significant presence in the North American market.

BMW, Intel and Mobileye announced at CES 2016 their intention to produce a fully autonomous production vehicle by 2021.

Intel recently purchased Mobileye, an automotive safety systems supplier, for US$20 billion ($25 billion), and announced it would begin testing a 100-strong fleet of Level 4 autonomous vehicles on public roads.

BMW and Mobileye plan to have a fleet of 40 self-driving on the roads by the end of this year.

It's not clear what effect this new tie-up will have on Fiat Chrysler's relationship with Waymo, Google's self-driving car division. The Italian-American automaker has an agreement to deliver 600 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid people movers fitted with Waymo's self-driving technology.

"Joining this cooperation will enable FCA to directly benefit from the synergies and economies of scale that are possible when companies come together with a common vision and objective," said Sergio Marchionne, head of FCA.

Harald Krueger, chief of BMW, stated, "With FCA as our new partner, we reinforce our path to successfully create the most relevant state-of-the-art, cross-OEM Level 3 to 5 solution on a global scale".

"We welcome FCA’s contributions and use of the cooperation’s platform, which has made substantial progress over the last year and is rapidly entering the testing and execution phase," said Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's current chief technology officer.