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

Volkswagen and Hyundai aim to have self-driving taxis 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.

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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