Amazon and Others Invest $530 Million in Self-Driving Startup

by David Mowatt
self-driving startup

Self-driving startup Aurora has recently announced that have secured a major $530 million investment from Amazon, Sequoia, and others.

Aurora, founded by ex-Tesla and Waymo leaders Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson, and Drew Bagnell, is an electric startup focused on developing an autonomous driving system rather than producing a stand-alone vehicle. Since their inception, Aurora has partnered with automakers such as Volkswagen and Hyundai to bring their technology to the forefront of the electric market.

According to the self-driving startup, the investment was secured in a Series B financing led by American venture capital firm Sequoia that includes a “significant investment” from Amazon as well.

According to Aurora’s recent press release, Amazon and others have taken a massive interest in the startup, stating:

“In addition to Sequoia, Amazon, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. are making significant investments in Aurora. Amazon’s unique expertise, capabilities, and perspectives will be valuable for us as we drive towards our mission. We are also looking forward to having T. Rowe Price with us on this journey as a long-term capital partner.

 

“Lightspeed Venture Partners, Geodesic, Shell Ventures, and Reinvent Capital are also participating, as are our previous investors, Greylock and Index Ventures. Each brings with them unique experience and strategic value that will contribute to our mission.”

Aurora intends to use their newly secured funds to develop Aurora Driver, their independent self-driving platform designed from the ground up to support multiple automakers and transportation networks. The self-driving startup described the technology, stating:

“When realized, the Aurora Driver will allow everyone on the platform to benefit from both the unique capabilities it draws from each partner, and the scale benefits it facilitates. Manufacturing components is a challenging business. So is designing and assembling vehicles, operating transportation networks, and deploying capital-intensive fleets. Fortunately, companies exist who have mastered each, and who — when brought together around a common platform — can do far more together than they can apart. Moreover, all Aurora-powered vehicles carry a common set of self-driving hardware and run the same self-driving software, allowing Aurora and its partners to benefit from the collective scale of all participants on the platform by reducing the cost of the hardware and allowing the software to learn from the combined experience of all vehicles on the platform.”

Aurora has since claimed that they have already integrated their Aurora Driver into five different vehicle platforms from four different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), but their is currently no word on when the technology will be commercially available.

Source: Aurora

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