Startup Aurora gets $530 million boost to build self-driving cars

Adjust Comment Print, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) joined with capital venture firm Sequoia and T. Rowe Price Group Inc (NASDAQ: TROW) to invest $530 million in self-driving vehicle startup Aurora Innovation according to Aurora's press release on Medium.

This Series B round values Aurora at over $2.5 billion.

Aurora is led by Mr Chris Urmson, former head of the Google self-driving auto initiative.

SAN FRANCISCO: A self-driving auto technology startup founded by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives said Thursday it secured $530 million in new funding that included a "significant" investment from Amazon.

Amazon is clearly keen on the idea of self-driving vehicles, not only having patented a highway network that controls self-driving cars and trucks, but also partnering with Toyota's fully autonomous, battery-electric e-Palette Concept Vehicle and unveiling a series of unmanned robot scouts to deliver goods to Amazon customers. The company presently employs around 250 workers split between its Bay Area and Pittsburgh campuses. Eschenbach will take a seat on the startup's board.

"Since we set out on our mission two years ago to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly and broadly, we have received an incredible amount of support and interest in the future we are building", said Aurora's press release.

Tesla shares made session lows after a report said Amazon has invested in the self-driving startup Aurora Innovation. On the recent earnings call of Waymo's parent, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said the company is in talks to move into several other cities beyond the Phoenix area, where its first robotaxi service debuted in late 2018. Investments past year from the SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co. pushed Cruise's valuation to US$14.6 billion. For example, yesterday's funding round included Amazon, which could someday use autonomous vehicle technology "in a fulfillment center or on the road", it said in a statement.