Aurora, an autonomous company founded by other self-driving veterans from Waymo, Uber, and Tesla, wants to make their own autonomous vehicle technology an industry standard by licensing their technology out to the major self-driving players.
The company continues to find new partners to add and recently announced they have teamed up with Fiat Chrysler to begin creating autonomous vehicles for commercial use. This adds to their current partnerships with Hyundai, Byton, and Volkswagen.
However recently, Volkswagen announced that they will be ending their partnership with Aurora.
"Volkswagen Group has been a wonderful partner to Aurora since the early days of development of the Aurora Driver," an Aurora spokesperson said to Ars. "As the Driver matures and our platform grows in strength, we continue to work with a growing array of partners who complement our expertise and expand the reach of our product."
Volkswagen is said to be doubling down on their partnership with Ford's autonomous subsidiary Argo AI.
This cancellation reveals a vulnerability for Aurora who are trying to be the technology used by the major self-driving companies of the industry.
However this effort isn't as attractive to those creating the autonomous cars. Instead of using an outside source for technology, auto manufacturers usually lean toward developing their own autonomous technology.
This also follows Volkswagen reportedly attempting to purchase Aurora sometime last year, but being denied.
That potential deal would've been similar to General Motors buying Cruise in 2016, Ford investing heavily into Argo, or Honda investing into Cruise.
It seems that VW is focused on deepening their partnership with Ford with them potentially investing into the subsidiary. This would allow Volkswagen to utilize Argo's technology in their own self-driving cars.
This partnership would be all be easy thanks to both companies already having a technology sharing agreement with one another. Volkswagen would begin to sell VW trucks made by Ford and Ford may start using VW's electric car platform for their own cars.
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