Volkswagen Group has announced a collaboration with the fresh self-driving technology company Aurora, a name that seems to be popping up here, there, and everywhere in the self-driving world of technology lately.
“The Volkswagen Group and leading self-driving technology company, Aurora, have announced a strategic partnership that brings the two companies together to bring self-driving electric vehicles to cities as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) fleets,” the press release states.
This comes right on the heels of Aurora partnering with Hyundai for seemingly the same thing. Is Aurora becoming the new go-to self-driving tech firm for Big Auto?
Chris Urmson, CEO of Aurora and former head of Google’s self-driving tech work, added: “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.”
Volkswagen is the largest automaker in the world — well, is often in a tight race with Toyota for that title — so it’s a pretty good automaker to partner with if you want to reach massive scale of your tech.
“The Volkswagen Group defined 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 fields of the automated vehicle and advanced mobility technologies.”
Don’t overlook either that Volkswagen has been headed in this direction at least since 2005. “In 2005, a Volkswagen Electronics Research Lab-Stanford University team claimed victory at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, which is widely considered the dawn of the automated vehicle era.”
Here’s more from Volkswagen Group’s Chief Digital Officer, Johann Jungwirth, on the gran ideals and long-term vision of the German company on this topic: “Our vision is ‘Mobility for all, at the push of a button’. This means that we want to offer mobility for all people around the world. Mobility also for children, elderly, sick and visually impaired people, really for all. ‘At the push of a button’ stands for simplicity and the ease of use. In the future people can, of course, use our mobility app or digital virtual assistant to hail a self-driving electric vehicle to drive them conveniently door-to-door, or use our Volkswagen OneButton which has GPS, connectivity and a compass, as a small beautiful key fob with maximum convenience. Working with Aurora, leading self-driving system company, will give us a giant 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 will be really passionate about because they have been tailored to the human with highest safety standards, best-in-class user experience, and digital intelligence. For me, this is the reinvention of mobility and the automobile.”