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Volkswagen and Hyundai get serious about self-driving car tech

Two of the world's largest automakers have struck deals with a high-profile Silicon Valley startup to develop autonom...

Posted: Jan 4, 2018 1:14 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2018 1:14 PM

Two of the world's largest automakers have struck deals with a high-profile Silicon Valley startup to develop autonomous vehicles.

The Volkswagen Group and Hyundai announced on Thursday partnerships with Aurora Innovation, a manufacturer of self-driving car technology.

The efforts buck the trend of automakers being cautious to work with Silicon Valley companies. Volkswagen and Hyundai have turned to Aurora to accelerate how fast the technology appears on roads.

Hyundai said it will use the Aurora technology in a fuel cell SUV, which it believes is best suited for autonomous driving, given the vehicle's driving range.

Volkswagen plans to use Aurora's self-driving technology in a variety of vehicles, such as shuttles, vans, pods and trucks. It also anticipates operating a ride-sharing service in cities.

Both Volkswagen and Hyundai expect their self-driving vehicles to launch in 2021.

Founded in late 2016, Aurora has attracted the attention of the auto industry. It builds the complicated systems required to control self-driving cars, which must understand their surroundings and make smart decisions.

Its co-founders are some of the biggest names in the industry, having led self-driving efforts at Google and Tesla.

"Our mission is to get this technology deployed as quickly, as safely and as broadly as possible," CEO Chris Urmson told CNN Tech.

One big question in the self-driving car world is how to split profits between the old guard - traditional automakers - and new entrants, such as Aurora.

Related: Your car's data may be more valuable than the car itself

While exact details haven't been hammered out, all parties said they're confident they can make a fair split.

"We're approaching the problem from an abundance mindset," Aurora chief product officer Sterling Anderson told CNN Tech. "If we can work together to make this difference, all involved will prosper. This will be only a net positive for the world, and a net positive for Aurora and our partners."

An Intel study released in 2017 predicted the industry will be worth $7 trillion by 2050.

Each year, 1.25 million people are killed in motor vehicle crashes globally. These deaths are overwhelmingly caused by human error. Removing human drivers could bring huge safety benefits.

While Volkswagen and Hyundai are competitors, the automakers said Aurora's move to work with multiple companies will boost its technology and ultimately, speed the arrival of safe autonomous vehicles.

"Solving [the challenges associated with] self-driving technology is going to bring many benefits to society -- not just for convenience, but safety," said Jang Woong-jun, who leads autonomy efforts at Hyundai. "I don't think there's one company that can develop everything on their own."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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