Self-driving dream team gets $530 million from Sequoia, Amazon

Self-driving dream team gets $530 million from Sequoia, Amazon

Self-driving dream team gets $530 million from Sequoia, Amazon

Now, Amazon is one of several backers in a $530 million funding round announced Thursday for Aurora, which is based in Palo Alto but maintains a big presence in Pittsburgh.

Self-driving auto startup Aurora has raised more than $530 million in fresh funding, bucking recent skepticism by investors and industry players that autonomous vehicle technology has been overhyped. While Volkswagen plans to integrate the self-driving technology in its vehicles, Hyundai wants to commercialize level 4 autonomous vehicles (which can operate without human input or oversight under select conditions) by 2021. Anderson had led Tesla's team that created the Autopilot system, while Urmson served as the Chief Technology Officer at Waymo (formerly Google's self-driving project). Drew Bagnell, the chief technology officer, was a founding member of Uber's Advanced Technologies Group. Embark also received significant funding from Sequoia a year ago and has raised $47 million overall to date. Eschenbach will also be joining Aurora's board.

Self-driving cars are not just for people- the technology can also move goods.

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Sequoia led the Series B round of investment.

Aurora Innovation is developing a full self-driving program from soup to nuts, including hardware, software and data-collection and -distribution tech.

Aurora doesn't build self-driving cars. The case eventually settled and Aurora paid Tesla $100,000.

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

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 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.

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"We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that".

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