Aurora gets closer to Toyota and Denso. The start-up, which is working on the development of an autonomous driving platform, announced Tuesday, February 9 that Toyota and Denso will use its technology to deploy a network of robot taxis.
Aurora hopes this strategic partnership will enable it to offer its technology on a large scale and at an affordable price. Going in this direction, the start-up recently concluded an agreement with the truck manufacturer Paccar. The manufacturing cost of autonomous vehicles is currently very high, forcing companies to find use cases for professionals or allowing vehicle sharing.
Tests by the end of the year
As a first step, the engineering teams of the different companies will work together to equip Toyota Sienna minivans with the Aurora Driver autonomous driving platform. By the end of the year, the partners want to start testing with a first fleet of these autonomous vehicles near development areas. They do not specify how many vehicles they wish to equip or where these tests will take place.
Over the next few years, the partners want to lay the foundations for mass production and deployment of a network of robot taxis, including Uber. A logical choice since Aurora bought Uber ATG, the division of the VTC company in charge of R&D on autonomous vehicles. By selling its division, Uber took a stake in Aurora and Dara Khosrowshahi joined its board.
At the same time, consideration will be given to the mass production by Denso of certain key components for autonomous driving. As well as the establishment by Toyota of a full service solution including financing, insurance, maintenance, etc., of these vehicles when they are deployed on a large scale. A global vision around the autonomous vehicle which should make it easier to find outlets for this technology which is very expensive today.