Hyundai And Kia Invest In Aurora To Accelerate Development Of Self Driving Cars
Hyundai Motor Group and Aurora Inc. today announced that Hyundai and Kia have invested in Aurora to accelerate the development of autonomous driving technologies. Hyundai did not provide data on the amount of its investment. However, Aurora disclosed that their investment is part of a series B financing round, which has now raised more than $ 600 million.
With Hyundai's investment, the group intends to strengthen the already established partnership between the companies in 2018, under which Hyundai and Aurora have collaborated to develop autonomous driving technologies for the NEXO Hyundai standard door in the Fuel Cell.
In this new investment, the companies have agreed to expand their research to a wider range of models and build a platform for Hyundai's stand-alone vehicles. Hyundai cars will see improved capabilities to monitor, react, and adapt to different environments, and their main goal is to develop Level 4 autonomy.
Hyundai Motor Group's plans for the future of mobility include the marketing of autonomous vehicles Level 4 through 2021 with the pilot launch of a fleet of autonomous taxis in various cities around the globe. As of now, they have already achieved Level 2 autonomy wherein the driver can initiate a change of lane on the highway, in addition to entering and leaving it, just by turning on the autonomous signal. Level 4 would allow the car to perform all essential driving functions and monitor the conditions of the street without needing the driver.
Youngcho Chi, President, and CIO of Hyundai Motor Group commended Aurora for being a leader in autonomous driving technology, and they intend to strengthen their partnership as collaborating closely with market leaders around the world will enable their company to develop more secure and innovative self-drive vehicles for their customers.
Aurora Automation was born in 2016 by three personalities at Silicon Valey: Sterling Anderson, product manager (CPO), who was responsible for the development of the Autopilot for Tesla, Drew Bagnell, chief technology officer (CTO), who was part of the founding committee of Uber's advanced technology group and Chris Urmson, executive director (CEO), who led Google's autonomous driving project that end up transforming into Waymo.
Since it was founded, Aurora quickly took a leading position in the marketplace by developing autonomous driving technologies. Its independent driving system, the Aurora Driver, consists of the handling, radar, cameras that assimilate everything that happens around the automobile and the computer that controls the software modules, allowing the car to understand the world that surrounds it and plan a safe and fast route.
Because of this, many investors such as Sequoia Capital, Amazon, T. Rowe Price (the second largest shareholder of Tesla after Elon Musk) and the recent partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automotive group managed to increase its capital to $700 million.
Auro group thanked their partners and said that they are very pleased with the progress they made with the Hyundai team and the others. With all their partners, they will be able to develop a platform that will allow everyone to benefit from autonomous driving technology in a more safe, fast, and broadway.