Aurora Innovation, Announced a Strategic Partnership at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Las Vegas, NV, USA The collaboration brings together two companies to bring self-driving electric vehicles to cities as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) fleets.
The Volkswagen Group defines its goal of becoming a global leader in autonomous driving with its dedicated self-driving system (SDS) in its future program "TOGETHER - Strategy 2025". This strategic direction builds on a long tradition for the Volkswagen Group as a leader in the field of automated vehicle and advanced mobility technologies. In 2005, a Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab-Stanford University team claimed victory at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, which is considered the dawn of the automated vehicle era.
Chief Digital Officer Johann Jungwirth: "Our vision is 'Mobility for all, at the push of a button'. This means we want to offer mobility for all people around the world. Mobility also means for children, elderly, sick and visually impaired people, really for all. 'At the push of a button' stands for simplicity and the easiness of use. Volkswagen OneButton has GPS, connectivity and a compass, as a small beautiful key fob with maximum convenience. Working with Aurora, a leading self-driving system company, wants to make a great leap forward in our mission to become the world's leading provider of sustainable mobility with self-driving vehicles. Our aim is to create new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) solutions which customers want to be passionate about because they have been given the highest standards of safety, best-in-class user experience and digital intelligence. For me this is the reinvention of mobility and the automobile. "
Self-driving technology is set to become the centerpiece of future personal mobility. The collaboration with Aurora will provide valuable experience with the world-class engineering team to the ongoing development of software and hardware for driverless vehicles, and, additionally, mobility services for urban and rural areas. Thereby the Volkswagen Group is stepping up the pace. As the Self-Driving System (SDS) reaches the required maturity and safety levels in the first cities, it can be integrated across the Group brands, for different product categories: from fully self-driving pods like SEDRIC, shuttles or delivery vans to self-driving trucks without a cabin.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group, have already been working intensively with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora’s self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as Machine Learning and AI technology in Volkswagen Group’s vehicle platforms. With the customer experience at the center of this technology development, the Volkswagen Group is focused on creating new solutions tailored to the best-in-class user experience with a focus on safety, convenience and usability. Cities need such smart mobility solutions to solve their traffic, pollution and traffic safety challenges.
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. This partnership establishes a deep collaboration using Aurora’s self-driving technology, and together we will bring self-driving vehicles to market at scale.”
Based in Palo Alto, CA, and Pittsburgh, PA, Aurora designs and builds self-driving technology, partnering with automakers to integrate self-driving platforms into vehicles. Founded by Chief Executive Officer Chris Urmson, Chief Product Officer (CPO) Sterling Anderson and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Drew Bagnell, Aurora is working to solve today's most complex AI, automation and engineering cities.
About Volkswagen Group
The Group consists of seven European countries: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. In addition, the Volkswagen Group offers a wide range of financial services, including dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance activities, and fleet management.