Amazon investing in autonomous driving technology

Self-driving cars will soon be seen on roads and companies all around the world are getting in autonomous driving technology including Apple and Alphabet. Now the online retail giant Amazon is getting into the field of autonomous vehicles as they have invested in Aurora, a company that is working on bringing autonomous driving technology to the mass market.

Aurora confirmed its latest round of funding secured $530 million thanks to investments from Amazon, Sequoia and few others. The company especially lauded the investment from Amazon by stating that Amazon’s unique expertise, capabilities and perspectives will be valuable for the company’s drive towards their mission. Moreover, Aurora also noted its latest round of funding will help them accelerate the development of their autonomous driving technology and strengthen their team as well as their ecosystem.

Aurora doesn’t have the popularity that companies like Waymo or Cruise Automation enjoy. However, the firm has an experienced team with the founding members being Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell. The trio have years of experience in the field as Urmson was the Chief Technology Officer for autonomous vehicles at Google’s Alphabet and Anderson who led the team that created Tesla’s Autopilot.

Aurora has had quite a low profile until now but the company is now partnering with Hyundai to develop Level 4 autonomous vehicles which will launch by 2021. The partnership will initially focus on custom-developed vehicles but will work to commercialize self-driving vehicles worldwide in the long term. Level 4 vehicles can drive themselves without human involvement in certain conditions. The partnership plans to deploy these vehicles quickly, broadly and safely.

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