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Aurora Buys Uber's AV Business

Aurora Buys Uber's AV Business

Uber, which has been shopping its automated vehicle technology business for several months, has landed a buyer: Aurora Innovation.

The three-year-old San Francisco-based startup, which specializes in self-driving truck systems, has agreed to buy the ride-hailing giant’s Advanced Technology Group in a stock transaction that values the combined operations at an estimated $10 billion. 

As part of the deal, Uber will get a 26% stake in Aurora and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join the tech firm’s board of directors. Uber also will invest $400 million into Aurora.

What Aurora Gets

In addition to the cash infusion, Aurora will gain about 1,200 engineers and software developers, as well as access to ATG’s technology.

The deal also opens the door for ...READ MORE

Mayflower Consulting
Toyota Joins Heavy Hitters Backing Hydrogen Fuel

Toyota has signed on as a founding member of a huge new group launched earlier today to promote the use of hydrogen as a carbon-free fuel.

The Japan Hydrogen Assn. includes 87 other companies and three of the country’s mega-banks.

Worthy Mission

JH2A’s mission is to clear away regulatory hurdles, develop new markets and find ways to drive down the cost of hydrogen production and distribution.

Japan announced last week that it aims to create a commercial hydrogen distribution system by 2030 and become carbon-neutral by 2050. JH2A hopes to be a key factor in making that happen.

“We will create a market environment where the carbon dioxide-free value of hydrogen can be fairly evaluated,” declares Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama. To get there, he vows to tap ...READ MORE

LMC Automotive
U.K. Opens EV-Only Charging/Rest Stops

The U.K. is taking electric vehicle charging to the next level, starting today.

Service provider Gridserve has opened the first of 100 planned solar-powered charging facilities, called Electric Forecourts.

Super Services

Each center features convenience shops, meeting rooms, lounges, free high-speed wi-fi, a kids play area, post office, “high-end” restrooms, an EV display, stationary exercise cycles (which generate electricity), outdoor picnic area and pet park.

Charging services are available around the clock. Retail operations will be open 15-17 hours per day.

The fancy facilities can simultaneously charge as many as 36 EVs—from motorbikes to buses—for an introductory fee of 32 cents per kilowatt-hour. Gridserve plans to introduce tiered pricing in the ...READ MORE

AutoBeat
Developers Aim to Diffuse AV Short Circuits

Redundant actuators and controllers are key enablers for automated driving systems to ensure safety-critical systems—braking and steering—continue to function if there is a short circuit or another problem.

But they also add weight, packaging complexity and costs.

To help minimize such tradeoffs, researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration (IZM) are partnering with the HiBord consortium to develop a simple disconnect device that builds in safeguards without requiring a completely redundant electrical system.

HiBord, which is funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, includes BMW, Bosch, Siemens, smartCable and wiring specialist Kromberg & Schubert.

How It Works

Currently, faults are isolated by ...READ MORE

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