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Google’s Old Autonomy Wizard Will Now Make VW and Hyundai Cars Drive Themselves


A startup called Aurora, founded by one of the biggest names in self-driving tech, has scored a huge deal to make mainstream cars robotic.

The plan:  According to Bloomberg, Aurora will work with VW and Hyundai to "outfit traditional vehicles with self-driving software and systems.” That’s not a new idea (see “Tech Firms Invite Automakers to Take a Back Seat on Self-Driving Cars”), but the firm does have fearsome chops to make it happpen.

The pedigree: Auroa was established by Chris Urmson (who was director of Google’s autonomous car division until he left in 2016), and boasts Sterling Anderson (former head of Tesla Autopilot) and Drew Bagnell (a founding member of Uber’s driverless car team) among its 70 staff.

What to expect: With VW, Aurora will develop a lineup of driverless shuttles and delivery vans. With Hyundai, it will help build an autonomous fuel cell car, about which details are scant.