Laurea honoris causa Marchionne

Visit of Sergio Marchionne

On 2 October 2017, on the occasion of the Honoris Causa degree in mechatronic engineering conferred to Sergio Marchionne at the Mechatronics Pole, the FCA CEO paid a visit to ProM, where he met the project managers, in addition to the guys from the FSAE E-Agle team of the University of Trento.

Polo Meccatronica di Rovereto, an innovative project created in a disused industrial area, is more than mere proof of how it is always possible to change, recreate, renew. It is above all an almost unique example of integration between companies, public entities, research foundations and universities. This area is home to that effect system that is so often discussed in Italy, but that is so rare to find.” Sergio Marchionne received an honorary degree in Mechatronic Engineering yesterday in Rovereto, precisely at Polo Meccatronica. The CEO of FCA had nothing but positive words for the Trentino Region, home of “the best public university in Italy for research activities, the Fiat research center, a reference point for all FCA globally, and a place of excellence such as this scientific conglomerate, Polo”.
Before the event, Marchionne visited the ProM Facility laboratories. He was accompanied by the Heads of the University of Trentino, by representatives of provincial entities (President Ugo Rossi, Vice President Alessandro Olivi and Councillor for University and Research, Sara Ferrari) and some entrepreneurs of the Trentino mechatronics system. Here he met the technical staff of ProM and the university students of the Formula SAE E-Agle team.

Before a full audience, Marchionne held his Lectio Magistralis, focused on the most significant technological changes that we will see in the near future: electric vehicles and cars that drive by themselves. “We at FCA are working on all different forms of electric cars: from 48-volt light hybrids, to traditional hybrids, to plug-ins, to all-electric systems. But forcing the introduction of electric energy on a global scale before solving the problem of how to produce energy from clean and renewable sources poses a threat to the very existence of our planet. Increasing the use of electric energy is something that must be done without legal impositions and, in the meantime, we must continue to take advantage of the benefits of other available technologies, in a combined way. It is certainly more beneficial to focus on improving traditional motors and working on the widespread use of alternative fuels, especially methane, which due to its origin and its qualities is currently the most virtuous and cleanest in terms of emissions.”
And with regards to self-driving vehicles, “The benefits that can derive from this are multiple in terms of: safety, reduced traffic, potentially zero accidents due to human error and a new level of independence and quality of life for elderly and disabled people. Marchionne mentioned two approaches, “The first, which we may call “evolutionist”, involves a progressive development of technology, through five successive levels. The other, of a “revolutionary” type, consists instead of skipping the progression and immediately working on the development of an entirely autonomous system. We at FCA think the right approach lies in the middle. This is why, on the one hand, we are working on the evolution of technologies, in successive stages and on the other hand, we, together with Google, are engaged in a revolutionary project on autonomous driving. We believe that autonomous driving will be a reality within a decade and advanced driver assistance systems will play a crucial role in preparing legislators, consumers and businesses for a world where control over the car gets passed into the hands of the car itself. The combination of these two forces of innovation – electric propulsion and autonomous driving – will bring about a total paradigm shift, which is bound to change the face of transportation as we have always intended it to be.”

Attached is the full text of the Lectio Magistralis of the event.

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