Aurora start-up gets green light to accelerate driverless cars

An image released by Hyundai shows a hands-off driver checking his phone and drinking coffee. The company is partnering with Aurora a U.S. startup to boost its autonomous vehicle program

Aurora start-up gets green light to accelerate driverless cars

The strategy has raised investor concerns that it may be left behind in the race for self-driving and electric cars.

The leaders in the self-driving field are different depending on who you ask, but I think it's fair to say that Tesla, Uber, and Google's Waymo often come up as being on top of the game at the moment. It'll deliver safety benefits. "Aurora is targeting that objective".

Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora: “Our priority at Aurora is to make self-driving cars a reality quickly, broadly and safely, and we know we will get there faster by partnering with innovative automakers like the Volkswagen Group. If all goes well, the pair will get self-driving Hyundai cars on the road by 2021.

Experts predict this coming transportation pivot will reap billions in revenues for industry leaders as self-driving mobility-as-a-service options gradually supplement or supplant vehicle ownership.

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The company is focusing on levels 4 and 5 of self-driven cars. As per the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE), definition of a Level 4 autonomous vehicle is a vehicle that can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions. "They'll be your gym or your movie theater or your gaming room or lounge", Jungwirth says.

Volkswagen also announced a tie-up with Aurora, following up on its unveiling previous year of the Sedric fully autonomous concept auto.

The two companies have already been working closely for the past six months, integrating Aurora's self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software-including machine learning and artificial intelligence-in VW Group vehicles. "This will be only a net positive for the world, and a net positive for Aurora and our partners". They are the best in the world.

Deals inked by the self-driving car firm Aurora with two major auto manufacturers will mean more jobs and more test vehicles on the streets in Pittsburgh, one of the company's co-founders told the Tribune-Review.

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General Motors recently announced that it would roll out a self-driving ride-hailing fleet by 2019, anchored to its $1 billion purchase of autonomous tech start-up Cruise Automation. The vehicle companies, latecomers to the technology upending the sector, are exploring using the self-driving systems for taxi services, robotic deliveries and even in-car advertising. The company announced in November that it had begun operating in suburban Phoenix without people behind the wheels of its Chrysler minivans.

Volkswagen also plans to commercialise the technology in ride sharing shuttles and delivery trucks and vans sometime in the future. Meanwhile, Anderson completed a PhD in robotics at MIT and was previously in charge of development of Tesla's Autopilot self-driving system.

"It's not just the founder team. This was about bringing together the right team to do this the right way for the industry".

Follow USA TODAY tech reporter Marco della Cava on Twitter.

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