Amazon moves into driverless cars with investment in United States start-up Aurora

Aurora Innovation Lincoln test cars

Aurora Innovation Lincoln test cars

The new funding brings Aurora's valuation to more than $2.5 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

The stature of its founders has allowed Aurora to attract top talent, with more than 250 people split between the San Francisco Bay Area and Pittsburgh, as well as interest from investors and partners.

"Since we set out on our mission two years ago to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly and broadly, we have received an incredible amount of support and interest in the future we are building", said Aurora's press release.

Those self-driving frontrunners are making their own moves.

Aurora doesn't build self-driving cars. Investments past year from the SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co. pushed Cruise's valuation to $14.6 billion. Even Waymo's robotaxi service in Arizona still has trained backup drivers inside.

More news: Girl who encouraged boyfriend to kill himself jailed
More news: Ronan Farrow says National Enquirer tried to blackmail him too
More news: Williams to present new livery for 2019 on Monday

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 vehicle 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. The case eventually settled and Aurora paid Tesla $100,000. Amazon could use this for self-driving cargo and courier vehicles, reducing its need for human drivers (like it or not) and speeding up delivery times by keeping products moving around the clock.

Amazon did not reveal how much it had invested but said it could use driverless vehicle systems in package delivery or in its warehouses.

"Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive", an Amazon spokesperson said to Bloomberg, "whether it's in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we're excited about the possibilities".

Autonomous driving is one of the most capital intensive startup businesses, and such a large sum of money is critical for Aurora to remain competitive in a field crowded with well-funded players such as Alphabet Inc and General Motors Co.

Recommended News

  • Fourth Hottest Year in Earth’s Recorded History - Climate Report

    Fourth Hottest Year in Earth’s Recorded History - Climate Report

    Nasa's data was compiled by 6,300 weather stations around the world and was compared against information stretching back to 1880. If it seems like you've heard this before, you have: Eighteen of the hottest 19 years have occurred since 2001.
    Ten die in Rio de Janeiro fire

    Ten die in Rio de Janeiro fire

    Jefferson Rodrigues, who runs a small inn near the club, said he had reached a 15-year-old player he had befriended. The blaze, which engulfed a dormitory at the youth team training centre, occurred when players were asleep.
    D.C. United's Wayne Rooney thinks he still has Premier League quality

    D.C. United's Wayne Rooney thinks he still has Premier League quality

    DC United striker Wayne Rooney believes he is still good enough to play in the Premier League . I want to see my players fight until the end.
  • Strauss: We can take on Ireland up front

    Strauss: We can take on Ireland up front

    They were tackling in twos and the dominance of their defence was insane , so we'll be looking to do the same. They were really smart around the field.
    'Jiggers' earn Australian trainer Weir a four-year ban

    'Jiggers' earn Australian trainer Weir a four-year ban

    Weir reportedly became emotional as his list of training achievements were read out before the verdict was handed down. Weir had offered no expression of remorse, and had not given an explanation why that was the case, Mr Gleeson said.
    Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

    Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

    He was the manager for the Montreal Expos when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2005. Things didn't get much better right away as Baltimore went on to lose its first 21 games and finished 54-107.
  • Milwaukee Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic in three-team deal

    Milwaukee Bucks acquire Nikola Mirotic in three-team deal

    Johnson is in his fourth NBA season after being drafted eighth overall by the Pistons in the 2015 NBA Draft. Johnson and Maker are both recent lottery picks who have struggled to make a consistent impact.
    Drivers warned to slow down as Storm Erik hits Donegal

    Drivers warned to slow down as Storm Erik hits Donegal

    He said: "Southwesterly winds will strengthen across the United Kingdom on Friday, so it's going to be a windy day for everyone". Ladbrokes spokesman Alex Apati said: "Brits should make the most of the mild weather with a drastic drop on the way".
    BB&T and SunTrust are joining to create new $66 billion bank

    BB&T and SunTrust are joining to create new $66 billion bank

    Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO of SunTrust will serve as president and chief operating officer of the combined company, and Kelly S. The combined bank, which will be named at a later date, will have nearly 60,000 employees and about $440 billion in assets.
  • Ivanka Trump responds to exhibit with a look-alike vacuuming

    Ivanka Trump responds to exhibit with a look-alike vacuuming

    The organization is now planning to host performances of the piece nightly through February 17. However others took to Twitter to claim the installation 'is not art, it's sexism.
    Chiefs Dont Want Patrick Mahomes Playing Basketball

    Chiefs Dont Want Patrick Mahomes Playing Basketball

    Mahomes, who was a high school basketball star, looked pretty great on the court against a bunch of no-names. The Kansas City Chiefs , however, don't want him utilizing his skills on the hardwood.
    Thai PRINCESS joins race for Prime Minister in EXTRAORDINARY break from tradition

    Thai PRINCESS joins race for Prime Minister in EXTRAORDINARY break from tradition

    The sister of Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn has joined the race to be the country's next prime minister. Although her formal title was not restored, she is regarded and treated as royalty by people in Thailand.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.