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Mainstreaming autonomous travel

The Hyundai Motor Company and Volkswagen are collaborating with a California-based startup to hasten the arrival of autonomous cars on to the market.

Aurora Innovation develops tech for self-driving vehicles, designing ‘the software and hardware that will power the next revolution in transportation’.

Hyundai Motor announced this month it was forming a ‘strategic partnership’ with Aurora to ‘bring self-driving Hyundai vehicles to market by 2021’.

“We know the future of transportation is autonomous, and autonomous driving technology needs to be proven in the real-world to accelerate deployment in a safe and scalable manner,” explained Dr Woong Chul Yang, Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor. “Combining our advanced vehicle technology that embeds the latest safety features with Aurora’s leading suite of Level 4 autonomous technology will advance this revolution in mobility with Hyundai in a leadership position.”

Level 4 vehicles are pretty much fully autonomous but there is still a steering wheel if a driver needs to take control – level 5 is when humans will have no role to play at all.

On the tie-up with Volkswagen, Chris Urmson, CEO and co-founder of Aurora, blogged: “We are thrilled to announce our first strategic automotive partnership with the Volkswagen Group. Together we will bring self-driving technology to market quickly and safely around the world, with the service and quality expected of two leaders in manufacturing and technology.”

The Volkswagen Group is a leader in this space. Last November it announced plans to invest €34 billion – by 2022 – in driverless cars, electric vehicles and innovative mobility services.

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