Volkswagen partners with tech company led by former Google driverless boss

Volkswagen partners with start-up led by former Google driverless boss

Volkswagen Sedric concept previews brand’s future autonomous pod

German company teams up with driverless technology firm Aurora, which is also working with Hyundai

The Volkswagen Group has become the second car maker this week to announce a partnership with driverless technology company Aurora, which is headed by former Google driverless car boss Chris Urmson.

Following Hyundai’s announcement of its tech tie-up with the firm, Volkswagen has confirmed it will also be working alongside the American company, which is a specialist in developing hardware and software for driverless vehicles.

As part of its self-set target to become a world leader in autonomous vehicles by 2025, Volkswagen intends to produce self-driving pods like its 2017 Sedric concept, plus shuttles, delivery vans and trucks without a cabin.

Aurora, an independent company that has announced intentions to work with several global car manufacturers, has been using an Audi Q7 test car to evaluate its systems. It has previously said it wants to develop a self-driving platform that it can offer to the market, but the new tie-ups may allow it to create bespoke systems for these brands’ vehicles.

“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 car makers like the Volkswagen Group,” said Urmson. “This partnership establishes a deep collaboration using Aurora’s self-driving technology, and together we will bring self-driving vehicles to market at scale.”

Hyundai intends its work with Aurora to help it produce a level-four autonomous car – one that can control itself without any driver interference in certain circumstances – by 2021, the same year Volkswagen intends to bring its first driverless car to market.

Woong-Chul Yang, Hyundai’s vice chairman, 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.

“Combining our advanced vehicle technology that embeds the latest safety features with Aurora’s leading suite of level four autonomous technology will advance this revolution in mobility with Hyundai in a leadership position.”

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Source: Autocar Online

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