Aurora Innovation Just Acquired Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Unit

December 8, 2020
Photo: aurora

Aurora Innovation has been working to accelerate the world into a driverless future. Having acquired a new team of experts from Uber, the autonomous vehicle company is hitting the gas on its plans for creating its Aurora Driver platform.

Uber’s Advanced Technology Group has become a part of the Aurora team in an acquisition both companies announced on Monday. It is a move that aims to expedite Aurora’s mission to safely, quickly and broadly launch its first product.

“With the addition of ATG, Aurora will have an incredibly strong team and technology, a clear path to several markets, and the resources to deliver,” Aurora CEO Chris Urmson said in a statement.

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The Palo Alto company’s plans for expanding its team don’t stop there. With more than 600 employees, Aurora is currently hiring across all five of its offices with positions available in research and development, sales and marketing and administration.

Despite previous setbacks for Uber in the self-driving space, this collaboration aims to bring autonomous vehicles safely onto roads. ATG has been making advancements in safety engineering, and was also the first company to publicly share a safety case framework in regards to self-driving.

ATG has also made advances in areas including software, hardware and product design, and Aurora plans to use this progress toward strengthening and accelerating its platform for heavy-duty trucks. Simultaneously, Aurora is working on logistics to move forward with its
light-vehicle products.

In addition to its new acquisition, Aurora announced a strategic partnership with Uber. The collaboration connects its technology to Uber’s ride-hailing platform, strengthening its ability to broadly deliver the Aurora Driver. The company is still planning to deliver its product in autonomous trucking first, and is positioned to possibly move into passenger mobility.

This year, several other self-driving startups have made moves to distribute their products, and some have received large infusions of capital to help them reach their goals. raised $267 million to increase production of its AI powered vehicles, Nuro raised $500 million for autonomous package delivery and Amazon acquired Zoox to create robotic taxis.

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