VW and Aurora are splitsville in self-driving car development, report says

It will likely buddy up with Ford's Argo AI instead, given the two OEMs' growing relationship.

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Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
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Volkswagen - autonomous driving

Friendship ended with AURORA. Now FORD is my best friend.

(It should be noted that the AV you see here is VW's own creation, not born of any partnership.)


Less than two years after it was first announced, it appears Volkswagen and autonomy startup Aurora are calling their partnership quits.

Volkswagen and Aurora will not renew any partnership, the Financial Times reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. According to those sources, VW chose not to renew its contract with Aurora, having wrapped up the last project between the two companies earlier this month.

"Volkswagen Group has been a wonderful partner to Aurora since the early days of development of the Aurora Driver," said an Aurora spokesperson in an emailed statement today. "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 confirmed the report, as well, saying only that "[t]he activities under our partnership have been concluded."

A source told the Financial Times that it's likely that VW will instead partner with Argo AI, a subsidiary focused on AV development. It's the most feasible route given the fledgling partnership between the two automakers, which was first announced at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. While the initial scope is limited to midsize trucks and commercial vans , it's possible that Ford could eventually use the MEB electric platform that VW developed for its own electric cars . Rumors circulated over the winter that VW VW could invest as much as $1.6 billion in Argo AI.

Aurora will be plenty fine, even without a partnership with one of the world's largest automakers. Hyundai is, as far as we know, still working with Aurora on AV development, and earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler announced that it would be using the Aurora Driver platform to grant Level 4 autonomy to its future commercial vehicles.

Ford's autonomous cars on the streets of Miami

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Watch this: Join us for a ride in Ford's prototype self-driving car