May 7, 2018—Self-driving vehicle startup Aurora’s recent ascent has bucked the trend of automakers holding Silicon Valley at arm’s length, CNN noted in a recent report.
Aurora first tested vehicles on public roads last September. The startup company has formed partnerships with Volkswagen, Hyundai and Chinese electric vehicle maker Byton. The company’s self-driving software uses data from sensors, such as cameras and radar, to perceive the world around it, and then plot an ideal path.
Aurora has opened eyes throughout much of the auto industry, CNN noted, because it has changed the trend of automakers being hesitant to bring Silicon Valley companies into the fold. Waymo, for example, has moved slower to strike deals with automakers than Aurora has.
While automakers know self-driving software is vital to their future, some OEMs, like Ford and GM, had brought self-driving startups in house rather than partnering with a tech company. Yet, it appears many OEMs trust Aurora, viewing the startup as a friend rather than a foe. Some automakers have pointed to longtime relationships with Aurora’s founders and a shared mission and culture as reasons why.
“Great partnerships are built on trust. Aurora is a very trustworthy team,” Volkswagen chief digital officer Johann Jungwirth told CNN recently.
The self-driving industry is predicted to eventually be worth trillions of dollars. And, amid an explosion of startup companies, Aurora has focused on personal character, preaching values like operating with integrity. Aurora also says it’s motivated by the chance to save millions of lives, CNN reported.