Amazon has invested more than $530 million in Aurora, a self-driving technology startup.
Led by former Google Self-Driving Car Project chief Chris Urmson, Aurora said Silicon Valley-based venture firm Sequoia Capital led the Series B round that included Amazon and T. Rowe Price. Carl Eschenbach, a Sequoia partner, is also joining Aurora’s board, which includes fellow tech investors Mike Volpi, Ian Smith and Reid Hoffman.
Aurora's plan is not to operate or build fleets of self-driving vehicles like Alphabet’s Waymo, successor to the Google program, General Motors, Tesla and robo-taxi startup Zoox. Instead, it's forming partnerships with the likes of Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor and Chinese-backed electric vehicle startup Byton to help develop those companies' autonomous vehicles.
"Aurora designs the software and hardware that will power the next revolution in transportation. We bring partners together to move more quickly than any one company can move alone," Aurora says on its website.
Amazon has been quiet about its plans for autonomous vehicles.
“We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that,” Amazon said in a statement. “Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it’s in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we’re excited about the possibilities.”