This happened two days after the Aurora start-up said it would build autonomous platforms for commercial vehicles with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
A VW spokesman said in a statement the love bug maker now wanted to work with Ford Motor Co on autonomous driving. Ford’s majority-owned subsidiary Argo AI is building an automated “driver” that will compete with Aurora’s technology.
Aurora said “Volkswagen Group has been a wonderful partner to Aurora since the early days of development of the Aurora Driver.” The company’s statement added that it continues to work “with a growing array of partners”.
The autonomous vehicle industry is still in its infancy, and alliances and strategies are fluid. Aurora has sought to remain independent and serve several would-be autonomous vehicle makers rather than be acquired.
Aurora raised $530 million in new funding, has partnerships with Hyundai and China’s Byton to develop and test self-driving systems for automakers, fleet owners and others.
After announcing its partnership with Aurora in early 2018, VW last June began discussions with Ford to develop a range of commercial vehicles, later extending the discussions to include electric vehicles and Argo’s autonomous driving technology as part of an alliance designed to save billions in costs. VW and Ford have not announced partnerships involving electric or autonomous vehicle technology.