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February 11, 2021

Toyota in self-driving partnership with Aurora

Toyota Motor, Denso Corporation and US autonomous driving startup Aurora Innovation have agreed to establish a long-term partnership to develop and produce self-driving vehicles, according to reports in Japan.

By bcusack

Toyota Motor, Denso Corporation and US autonomous driving startup Aurora Innovation have agreed to establish a long-term partnership to develop and produce self-driving vehicles, according to reports in Japan.

The Silicon Valley-based company was founded in 2017 and is one of several leading startups racing to commercialise autonomous driving technologies.

It already has similar agreements with other global automakers including Hyundai Motor, FCA, US truck-maker Paccar and China's Dongfeng Motor. 

As part of the agreement with Toyota and its component manufacturing subsidiary Denso, Aurora will make available its Driver system, including hardware, software and sensors, to be fitted initially to fleets of US built Toyota Sienna compact minivans. 

Road tests are set to begin this year with the aim of supplying self-driving vehicles to ride-handling companies, including Uber Technologies, in the next few years. Toyota is also a significant investor in Uber. As part of the deal, Toyota will gain an observer seat on the Aurora board.

Aurora chief product officer Sterling Anderson told reporters "this is a really exciting development. We're partnering with the largest automaker and the largest ride hailing network. It's not just about the development of the vehicle, but development of the service".

Keiji Yamamoto, chief operating officer of Toyota and president of Connected Company, said: "Toyota is dedicated to creating and realising mobility for all by focusing on technology that will move people safely and responsibly, a vision Aurora shares with us."

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