Amazon Throws Its Hat Into Autonomous Driving Ring With Aurora Investment

Daniel Fowler
February 8, 2019

Many companies, however, have encountered technical challenges that have derailed their timelines to deliver self-driving cars and raised questions about the feasibility of deploying fleets of autonomous vehicles in crowded cities. The company aims to accelerate the development of autonomous technology with the capital raised. An investment isn't the same as a partnership - it signals intent more than action. Just don't be surprised if you one day see Amazon-branded robotic vehicles roaming the streets.

Sequoia led the Series B round of investment. It marks Sequoia's first investment in the self-driving vehicle industry, and comes after the firm spent years of studying more than 15 self-driving auto companies across the globe, Eschenbach said.

While Aurora has cultivated partnerships with the likes of Hyundai Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, it has thus far remained independent, designing software, hardware, and data service products that would support a range of manufacturers and transportation networks.

Manslaughter conviction upheld of young woman who texted boyfriend to kill himself
Carter also faces a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Roy's mother in Norfolk Superior Court. Massachusetts's highest court made the ruling to uphold Carter's manslaughter conviction.

Last month, a Reddit user spotted a self-driving semi truck run by Embark Trucks, a startup integrating its software systems into Peterbilt vehicles, hauling freight for Amazon along the I-10 interstate highway.

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 auto 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. Aurora raised $90 million in a funding round a year ago. Amazon now uses automation in its warehouses and is designing a future delivery system with drones to deliver packages, and is a technology company with a significant logistics arm. "Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive", an Amazon spokesperson said, "whether it's in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we're excited about the possibilities". Waymo has been in talks to create a delivery and logistics effort, while Ford has been testing driverless delivery of pizza with Domino's and groceries with Postmates.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER