Volkswagen says it has ended its 16-month-old alliance with California-based Aurora Innovation two days after the startup announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to develop and market self-driving commercial vehicles.
VW hoped last summer to acquire the 3-year-old software developer. But Aurora rejected the overture, saying it preferred to remain independent and form alliances with multiple carmakers.
VW says it now wants to pursue autonomous vehicle development with Ford Motor Co.’s Argo AI unit. The two companies have been discussing a broad range of collaborative programs for a year. Aurora also has partnerships with China’s Byton (Future Mobility Corp.) and Hyundai.
Sources tell the Financial Times that the end of the VW-Aurora partnership was amenable. They say VW’s budding partnership makes more sense because the carmakers will be able to control both the hardware and software involved in the autonomous technology they develop.
Although all OEMs and suppliers do their utmost best to assure nothing but top-notch quality is achieved for their vehicles and systems, sometimes things simply go wrong because, well, that’s just how the Universe is.
When you think of complex, highly technical devices that you use every day in your car—in fact, possibly as much as three to 10 times per minute—you probably don’t think of your rearview mirror.
While at the Tokyo Motor Show this week various vehicle manufacturers were showing off all manner of cars and crossovers and transportation devices that typically had to do with something autonomous, connected and/or electrified (ACE, as CAR’s Brett Smith categorizes this burgeoning field), the guys from Chevy were in El Segundo, California, showing off a different take on what can best be described as “toys for boys”—boys who do or don’t have driver’s licenses.