Start-up bags two OEM partnerships with self-driving systems

Volkswagen Joins Hand With Aurora Innovation To Build Self Driving Cars

Hyundai to release self-driving cars by 2021

VW hasn't identified these initial launch cities, but Jungwirth said some will be in the U.S.

Executives from both VW and Hyundai said in interviews that they aim to put Aurora's self-driving software in production vehicles by 2021. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles will be able to provide a stable electric power supply without concerns about driving range. Waymo also plans to begin testing its vehicles in MI this winter.

Both automakers want to commercialize self-driving vehicles globally. We already mentioned Anderson from Tesla, but Aurora was also co-founded by Drew Bagnell, who headed the autonomy and perception team at Uber's Advanced Technologies Center, and Chris Urmson, the former head of Google's self-driving project.

Meanwhile, Bagnell is a former engineer at the self-driving auto team at Uber while Anderson was previously in charge of development of Tesla's Autopilot self-driving system.

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We have both set aside quite a bit of time to iron out the final details. "Again, nothing until the contracts are signed".

Hyundai mentioned that tests with Aurora would not start until "later this year", and the company confirmed to us the company's technology won't be used in the cars featured in PyeongChang next month. The company has offices in Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Palo Alto, Calif.

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.

Those vehicles, called Level 4 and 5 in the industry, are capable of driving themselves in most or all conditions without driver input.

Automakers are investing billions of dollars to bring autonomous and fully driverless vehicles to the road.

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Anderson was not anxious about competing self-driving companies, saying Aurora is "very happy with where we are".

The announcement serves as something of a redemption for Urmson who left Google in 2016 without a formal plan. You may not recognize the name Aurora yet, but you probably recognize the name of its CEO, Chris Urmson, who was the CTO of self-driving cars at Google for several years.

Here are the duo's thoughts on why they are fit to lead: "For almost 50 years, Hyundai has been a leader in vehicle design, safety and manufacturing, catapulting the company to become one of the world's largest vehicle manufacturers together with its Kia Motors Corporation affiliate".

The Volkswagen deal also offers Aurora an income stream, Handelsblatt reported, first from licensing fees paid by VW and later with a share of the revenue from the hoped-for fleets of autonomous taxis - slated for testing in Silicon Valley and the northern German city of Hamburg in the coming years. Aurora has been working to integrate its self-driving system into VW's vehicle platforms.

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