Aurora will power Byton EV’s autonomous driving features


Aurora, the self-driving startup founded by Google self-driving car project alum Chris Urmson, along with Tesla Autopilot developer Sterling Anderson, CMU robotics expert and Uber vet Drew Bagnell, and a team of industry experts, will be making the autonomous smarts for Byton’s forthcoming electric vehicle. Byton, a startup that had a splashy debut at CES earlier this year.

Byton’s Concept electric SUV is a car with a lot of interesting tech features, aside from its all-electric drive train. The vehicle has a massive, dashboard-covering display that incorporates information readouts, entertainment options and vehicle controls. It’s a screen that seems somewhat ill-suited for the task of paying attention to the road while driving, and the Byton car also has front seats that swivel towards the inside of the vehicle so that those in the front can better interact with those in the back.

Both of those features are more geared toward a future in which autonomous driving is a ready and viable option for Byton owners. The car is aiming for a 2019 starting ship date, by which time it’s possible self-driving features won’t seem such a distant dream. And now we know that Byton has a technology partners on the autonomous driving side of things with the technical know-how to make it an even more realistic expectation.

Aurora, despite officially breaking cover only just last year, is already working with a range of automakers on their autonomous driving technology, including Volkswagen and Hyundai. Aurora CEO Chris Urmson explained that its goals mean it’s happy to work with companies at all stages of development and maturity to help make self-driving a practical reality.

“Our mission is to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safety, quickly and broadly,” he said in n interview. “So for us to have that broad part, it means we have to work with a nudger of great partners, and we’re very fortunate with the folks we have [as partners] to date… this is how we help the business, and we look forward to being able to engage with others in the future.”

For Byton and Aurora, this partnership will kick off with pilot test driving in California sometime soon,  and Byton hopes to eventually tap Aurora with its goal of fielding premium electric consumer vehicles with SAE Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous capabilities.

Aurora as a company is excited about its progress during its first year in operation, and is ramping up staffing and attracting key talent in a very competitive industry thanks to its pedigree and founding team, Urmson tells me.

“It started with a handful of us, a couple in my living room here in California, and a couple in Pittsburgh. We’ve been growing the team, that’s been one of the core focuses of this last year,” he said. “In my previous gig I had the privilege of helping build that program from day one, to a massive organization certainly leading the space, and now with Sterling and Drew, we have the opportunity to build version two of that, and learn from our experience, and build an organization and build a technology that can have a huge impact on the world, and do that quickly and safely.”

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Aurora will power Byton EV’s autonomous driving features


Aurora, the self-driving startup founded by Google self-driving car project alum Chris Urmson, along with Tesla Autopilot developer Sterling Anderson, CMU robotics expert and Uber vet Drew Bagnell, and a team of industry experts, will be making the autonomous smarts for Byton’s forthcoming electric vehicle. Byton, a startup that had a splashy debut at CES earlier this year.

Byton’s Concept electric SUV is a car with a lot of interesting tech features, aside from its all-electric drive train. The vehicle has a massive, dashboard-covering display that incorporates information readouts, entertainment options and vehicle controls. It’s a screen that seems somewhat ill-suited for the task of paying attention to the road while driving, and the Byton car also has front seats that swivel towards the inside of the vehicle so that those in the front can better interact with those in the back.

Both of those features are more geared toward a future in which autonomous driving is a ready and viable option for Byton owners. The car is aiming for a 2019 starting ship date, by which time it’s possible self-driving features won’t seem such a distant dream. And now we know that Byton has a technology partners on the autonomous driving side of things with the technical know-how to make it an even more realistic expectation.

Aurora, despite officially breaking cover only just last year, is already working with a range of automakers on their autonomous driving technology, including Volkswagen and Hyundai. Aurora CEO Chris Urmson explained that its goals mean it’s happy to work with companies at all stages of development and maturity to help make self-driving a practical reality.

“Our mission is to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safety, quickly and broadly,” he said in n interview. “So for us to have that broad part, it means we have to work with a nudger of great partners, and we’re very fortunate with the folks we have [as partners] to date… this is how we help the business, and we look forward to being able to engage with others in the future.”

For Byton and Aurora, this partnership will kick off with pilot test driving in California sometime soon,  and Byton hopes to eventually tap Aurora with its goal of fielding premium electric consumer vehicles with SAE Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous capabilities.

Aurora as a company is excited about its progress during its first year in operation, and is ramping up staffing and attracting key talent in a very competitive industry thanks to its pedigree and founding team, Urmson tells me.

“It started with a handful of us, a couple in my living room here in California, and a couple in Pittsburgh. We’ve been growing the team, that’s been one of the core focuses of this last year,” he said. “In my previous gig I had the privilege of helping build that program from day one, to a massive organization certainly leading the space, and now with Sterling and Drew, we have the opportunity to build version two of that, and learn from our experience, and build an organization and build a technology that can have a huge impact on the world, and do that quickly and safely.”

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Self-driving startup Aurora will work with Nvidia on autonomous driving


Relative autonomous driving industry newcomer Aurora has been revealing a lot of early traction lately, and now we know that it’s also working with GPU-maker Nvidia. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed that his company will be supplying Aurora with the tech underlying their compute platform.

Aurora is building self-driving systems for both Volkswagen and Hyundai, the startup revealed last week. Volkswagen is looking to build test vehicles that it can put on the roads relatively soon, and ultimately both carmakers aim to put driverless ride-hailing fleets on roads as soon as 2021.

The fact that Aurora is using Nvidia’s self-driving computer hardware as the foundation of its system isn’t surprising – Nvidia revealed today that it’s working with over 320 companies on self-driving, through products like its Drive PX and now Drive Xavier GPU-powered autonomous driving computers.

Aurora also isn’t without experience in the field, despite its relative youth: Its founders include Google self-driving project early team member Chris Urmson, Tesla Autopilot architect Sterling Anderson and Uber ATG alum Drew Bagnell – all people who’ve likely worked with Nvidia AV technology in the past, too.

Volkswagen and Hyundai team up with Aurora on self-driving


Aurora, the startup founded by Google self-driving car program and Tesla alum Chris Urmson, has signed up two high-profile automaker partners despite its relative youth – both Volkswagen and Hyundai are planning to incorporate Aurora self-driving technology in production cars by 2021.

The Volkswagen is also hoping to put autonomous test cars on the road later this year, in a limited initial test, and then expand that to hundreds and then over one thousand test cars by 2020 ahead of the production rollout, per the Wall Street Journal. The plan for its initial deployment of production vehicles is then to field a fleet of self-driving cars in as many as five cities in a ride-hailing service, which is similar to how Ford, GM and Waymo all are looking to initially deploy their own self-driving programs.

Hyundai, too, is hoping to begin with driverless taxis in a service offering launching at “commercial scale” by 2021, per the WSJ. Using Aurora’s tech is only one way that the automakers host to potentially make this happen, however, since the deal is non-exclusive, and both automakers revealed in the report that they’ve also been talking to Waymo about potential partnerships.

Aurora’s been working with Volkswagen for six months already, which, for a company this young, is a sign of how much appetite there is among automakers for technology enablers that can help them reach their self-driving goals. It also speaks to the country’s pedigree, since the founding team includes not only Urmson, but also former Tesla Autopilot architect Sterling Anderson and Uber advanced technologies group vet Drew Bagnell.