Former tech geeks from Google, Tesla and Uber have joined forces to start the latest automotive tech venture through, Aurora Innovation. Marking their arrival into the segment of automated cars, the California State Department of Motor Vehicles have issued a permit to start testing self-driving cars on public roads there.
California state, now being one of the hotbeds for the latest developments in self driving cars has already issued close to 37 permits for autonomous vehicle testing.
In a recent interview with Fortune magazine, Aurora confirmed that they have been conducting tests on their autonomous vehicles behind closed doors. With satisfactory projections, the company now wants to accelerate its test fleet operations on public roads in California. To embark this process, it has set up its offices in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh as well.
Although Aurora hasn’t revealed much with regards to when its public testing would kick off or how many vehicles it has nor the makes and models of those vehicles, in a recent disclosure the company let it slip that it was building a 2017 Audi Q7 that it described as a “pre pre alpha data-gathering platform“. The car recently completed a cross-country trip to gather data between Aurora’s two offices. This was a data-gathering journey and not a self-driving one, explained the CEO.
Aurora wants to provide the full-stack solution for self-driving cars.
Here’s what that means: Aurora will work with an automaker or supplier—”our intent is several,” — to design and develop the right mix of sensors, software, and data services needed to deploy fully autonomous vehicles. Aurora’s value lies in the design of the sensor and the understanding of what computation needs to be embedded into the main brain for the car, as well as the software and data products.
Despite the various risks and downfalls one can associate with this model, there lies a window of opportunities in the current market scenario. At a time when major automakers and technology companies are racing to deploy autonomous vehicles, Aurora is shooting for the sweet spot: it has the talent and experience in solving the technological problems, but doesn’t want or need to control the brand or data. Aurora’s offer could be appealing to automakers even those that already have a partner and business could thrive with this model! 🙂