Volkswagen and Hyundai aim to have self-driving taxis by 2021

Volkswagen and Hyundai inked deals with the same self-driving startup to get into the ride-hailing industry. And they’re hoping to be on the road by 2021.

As the race toward an autonomous taxi heats up, automaking giants Hyundai and Volkswagen announced Thursday they’ll both be getting into bed with new(ish) self-driving startup Aurora.

Volkswagen and Hyundai aim to have self-driving taxis by 2021

While car companies are all jumping at once to get in the self-driving mix, Volkswagen and Hyundai join a few other automakers in the belief that ride-hailing services are the ticket to marketing road-ready autonomy.

According to TechCrunch, both companies are aiming to operate autonomous taxis on a “commercial scale” by 2021.

So what is Aurora?

Started by ex-Waymo employee Chris Urmson and ex-Tesla’s Autopilot software engineer Sterling Anderson, the company had a promising lineage from the get-go.

Last April, the startup raised north of $3m in funding, and a month before Google sued Uber over alleged “secret-stealing,” Tesla filed a similar suit against Aurora — so ya know they gotta be goooood.

Looks like the automated taxi trend may be a tell

With factors like high vehicle costs looming, the path to getting autonomous vehicles on the market has been a mess, leaving automakers and tech companies scratching their eager heads.

But Hyundai and Volkswagen aren’t going at this alone: other major automakers like Ford and GM are in the mix to shake up the autonomous ride-hailing scene — and the race between established giants and tech titans like Uber and Google may soon get these things on the road.

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