Uber's self-driving unit acquired by Aurora

Image credit: Uber media

Uber's self-driving unit, Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), has been acquired by Aurora, as the firm continues to streamline its business model.

Speaking about the acquisition, a spokesperson for Aurora said: "ATG's team and technology will accelerate our mission and the delivery of our first product safely, quickly, and broadly."

Founded in 2017 by some of the leading experts in self-driving, Aurora says it aims to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. The company is building the Aurora Driver, a platform that brings together software, hardware and data services to operate passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks across a range of applications.

Aurora is backed by Amazon and Sequoia among others, and tests its vehicles in the Bay Area, Pittsburgh, and Dallas. The company has offices in those three cities and in Bozeman, Montana.

Chris Urmson, co-founder and CEO of Aurora, said: “By adding the people and technology of Uber’s Advanced Technologies Group to the incredible group we’ve already assembled at Aurora, we’re shifting the landscape of the automated vehicle space.

“With the addition of ATG, Aurora will have an incredibly strong team and technology, a clear path to several markets, and the resources to deliver. Simply put, Aurora will be the company best positioned to deliver the self-driving products necessary to make transportation and logistics safer, more accessible, and less expensive.”

In addition to acquiring ATG, Aurora also announced a strategic partnership with Uber that connects their technology to the ride-hailing platform, which they believe will strengthen their position to deliver the Aurora Driver broadly.

While autonomous trucking is where they will deliver their product first, the company say their relationship with Uber puts them in the “unique position to be a leading player in both autonomous trucking and passenger mobility“.

In support of Aurora’s partnership with Uber, Uber is investing $400 million in Aurora and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is joining our Board.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber, said: “Few technologies hold as much promise to improve people’s lives with safe, accessible, and environmentally friendly transportation as self-driving vehicles. For the last five years, our phenomenal team at ATG has been at the forefront of this effort—and in joining forces with Aurora, they are now in pole position to deliver on that promise even faster.

“I’m looking forward to working with Chris, and to bringing the Aurora Driver to the Uber network in the years ahead.”

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