Silicon Valley-based self-driving technology company Aurora announced a strategic collaboration with Volkswagen Group and Hyundai Motor ahead of the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Autonomous drive technology is set to become the centerpiece of future personal mobility.
For Volkswagen, the collaboration with Aurora will provide valuable experience with the world-class engineering team to the ongoing development of software and hardware for driverless vehicles, and, additionally, mobility services for urban and rural areas.
With this new agreement, the Volkswagen Group is stepping up the pace of its strategic initiatives. As the Self-Driving System (SDS) reaches the required maturity and safety levels in the first cities, it can be integrated across the Group brands, for different product categories: from fully self-driving pods, like SEDRIC, the Volkswagen concept introduced in 2017.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) at Stanford University have already been working intensively with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as Machine Learning and AI technology in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms. With the customer experience at the center of this technology development, the Volkswagen Group is focused on creating new solutions, with the goal of providing best-in-class user experience with a focus on safety, convenience and usability. Cities need such smart mobility solutions to help solve their traffic, pollution and traffic safety challenges.
For Hyundai, which plans to bring self-driving vehicles to market by 2021, Aurora’s technology will be incorporated into custom-developed models and tested in markets including China. Over the longer term, Hyundai and Aurora will work to commercialize self-driving vehicles worldwide.
To start, the partnership will focus on the ongoing development of hardware and software for automated and autonomous driving and the back-end data services required for Level 4 automation. Level 4 autonomous vehicles defined by SAE can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions. The goal of the partnership is to deploy autonomous driving quickly, broadly and safely.
Hyundai and Aurora share the common vision of improving safety and mobility on the world’s roads, and together bring the skills and experience required to successfully introduce this technology at scale.
For the last two decades, Aurora’s founders have spearheaded the self-driving revolution, building teams and pioneering modern machine learning techniques now on the cusp of transforming transportation.
Aurora was founded in 2016 by robotics expert Drew Bagnell, Chris Urmson, who came from Alphabet’s Google, and Sterling Anderson, who formerly worked at Tesla.