Image: Hyundai Press Office
Aurora Innovation is a Pittsburgh-based start-up focused on self-driving technology. The three founders have impressive CVs which cite experience at Waymo, Tesla, and Uber. Partnerships with both Volkswagen and Hyundai were announced on Thursday as the company aims to bring self-driving vehicles to market quickly.
CEO of Aurora, Chris Urmson, said: “Our mission is to deliver self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. And to do that, we needed to find automotive partners that had global scale.”
Volkswagen hopes that the partnership will help it realise its vision of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) fleets in cities. The Chief Digital Officer of Volkswagen Group, Johan Jungwirth, said that they envisage “Mobility for all, at the push of a button”. Volkswagen wants to bring simple and easy-to-use self-driving technology to all. Jungwirth commented that the partnership with Aurora “will give us a giant leap forward in our mission to become the world’s leading provider of sustainable mobility, with self-driving vehicles. Our aim is to create new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions which customers will be really passionate about because they have been tailored to the human with highest safety standards, best-in-class user experience and digital intelligence. For me this is the reinvention of the automobile.”
Hyundai announced its hope that the partnership with the start-up will help bring self-driving Hyundai cars to the market as soon as 2021. Dr Woong-chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Company said: “We know the future of transportation is autonomous and autonomous driving technology needs to be proven in the real-world to accelerate deployment in a safe and scalable manner”. He said that the partnership with Aurora would allow Hyundai to combine its “advanced vehicle technology that embeds the latest safety features with Aurora’s leading suite of Level 4 autonomous technology [and] advance this revolution in mobility with Hyundai in a leadership position.”
Hyundai autonomous IONIQ Concept. Image from Hyundai Press Office.