A new player has entered the game. Volkswagen is now joining the self-driving car craze with the announcement of their strategic partnership with Aurora during this year's CES. As part of their TOGETHER - Strategy 2025, they have plans to incorporate a Self-Driving System (SDS) in their products to help keep them relevant and to get ahead of the trickle-down effect from high-end manufacturers. Volkswagen envisions a future in which anyone can push a button and have a self-driving car arrive to take them to their destination - better known as Mobility-as-a-Service (or MaaS).
Working with Aurora, a self-driving system company based in Palo Alto and Pittsburgh in the USA, gives them a big leap forward in their mission to become the world's leading provider of sustainable mobility, with self-driving vehicles. As an aside, Aurora is headed by an ex-engineer from Tesla - which would explain why Tesla is trying to sue them. Their tech and expertise coupled with Volkswagen's resources and financial backing should accelerate autonomous cars towards market-readiness.
Over the past six months, specialists from the Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Automotive Innovation Lab (VAIL) at Stanford University have already been working intensively with experts from Aurora to integrate Aurora's self-driving system including sensors, hardware and software, such as Machine Learning and AI technology in Volkswagen Group's vehicle platforms. Eventually the systems will spread across their model range and autonomous driving systems will become more accessible to the everyman.