Ridehailing firm Uber has announced it’s sold its driverless subsidiary Advanced Technologies Group to the Amazon-backed company Aurora.
Aurora was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs including former head of Google’s driverless division Chris Urmson (pictured). The company said they wanted to deliver the “opportunity to safely accelerate the adoption of self-driving technology” by “building an ecosystem with powerful, independent, and robust technology—the Aurora Driver—at its core.”
Uber had previously suggested that driverless vehicles were the long-term future of the business and say they will maintain a “strategic partnership” with Aurora and keep an investment in the business.
“By adding the people and technology of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group to the incredible group we’ve already assembled at Aurora, we’re shifting the landscape of the automated vehicle space,” said Urmson, who is Aurora’s CEO. “With the addition of ATG, Aurora will have an incredibly strong team and technology, a clear path to several markets, and the resources to deliver. Simply put, Aurora will be the company best positioned to deliver the self-driving products necessary to make transportation and logistics safer, more accessible, and less expensive.”
Aurora say the team at ATG brings “expertise, passion, and determination to delivering self-driving vehicles safely to the road”.
They say the two companies’ strategic partnership strengthens their position to deliver the Aurora Driver broadly. “While autonomous trucking is where we will deliver our product first, our relationship with Uber puts us in the unique position to be a leading player in both autonomous trucking and passenger mobility. In support of Aurora’s partnership with Uber, Uber is investing $400 million in Aurora and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is joining our Board,” they add in a statement.
“Few technologies hold as much promise to improve people’s lives with safe, accessible, and environmentally friendly transportation as self-driving vehicles. For the last five years, our phenomenal team at ATG has been at the forefront of this effort—and in joining forces with Aurora, they are now in pole position to deliver on that promise even faster,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO. “I’m looking forward to working with Chris, and to bringing the Aurora Driver to the Uber network in the years ahead.”
(Picture – Aurora)