The German automaker clearly wants in on self-driving cars.
Last year, Volkswagen showed off the Sedric concept, a fully autonomous ride-sharing city car. It wasn't slated to reach production until 2021, but the German automaker is starting to make moves towards its autonomous future. Bloomberg reports that VW is in talks to purchase Aurora Innovation, an autonomous car startup founded by former Google and Tesla employees. VW has recently been combing through Silicon Valley to find a partner to help it develop autonomous cars, but the German automaker may have to continue its search.
Aurora is an interesting candidate for a buyout because VW has already partnered with the California-based company. Sources close to the matter said Aurora was upset by the buyout talks because it wants to remain independent so it can work with multiple automakers. The buyout is crucial for VW, as the automaker is trying to keep up with competitors like GM that have recently purchased their own autonomous car developers.
GM recently purchased San Fransisco-based Cruise Automation to help it build self-driving cars based on the Chevy Bolt. It looks like VW will have to find another tech startup to help it develop autonomous cars because Aurora isn't for sale. The company recently raised $90 million in venture capital on its own, which may partially explain why it declined the buyout. It may be a while before self-driving vehicles are commercially viable, but the race is on to develop the technology before the competition.