Business

Amazon ramps up involvement in driverless auto race with United States developer investment

Share
Self-driving ‘dream team’ at Aurora gets $530 million from Amazon and other investors

Aurora Innovation appears to have attracted much of that funding on the strength of its self-driving tech superstar co-founders, who include CEO Chris Urmson, formerly of Google's self-driving auto program (pre-Waymo); CTO Drew Bagnell, formerly of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group; and CPO Sterling Anderson, who helped lead the development of Tesla's Autopilot. According to a new company blog post on Medium, Shell Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Geodesic are among the other parties aboard this fundraising round.

Amazon did not reveal how much it had invested but said it could use driverless auto systems in package delivery or in its warehouses. Startup Aurora is a developer of full-stack self-driving software systems for automakers. CEO Chris Urmson was with Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) self-driving auto program (pre-Waymo); CTO Drew Bagnell, worked for Uber's Advanced Technologies Group; and CPO Sterling Anderson helped lead Tesla's Autopilot development. Aurora raised $90 million in a funding round a year ago. The startup has remained fiercely independent, cultivating partnerships with Hyundai Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Byton Ltd. while designing a suite of software, hardware and data services created to support a range of automakers and transportation networks.

Aurora has so far, remained independent - wanting to focus on designing software, hardware, and data service products that will support a wide range of automakers' needs.

Aurora is publicly excited for Amazon's financial participation in its mission to develop a self-driving platform it calls Aurora Driver. Amazon invests in self-driving technology Amazon is very interested in self-driving technology. "Over the last couple of years, we've met with more than 15 of the top autonomous vehicle companies from around the world", said Sequoia's Carl Eschenbach in an interview.

Tesla slid to session lows Thursday morning after a report said Amazon has invested in a self-driving startup.

Share