Autonomous Car Startup Aurora Plans Large Expansion in Silicon Valley

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【Summary】Aurora is planning a move to Mountain View to a building that will see the company lease 111,000 square feet, up from its current footprint of 30,000 square feet in Palo Alto.

Original Vineeth Joel Patel    Sep 01, 2019 10:15 AM PT
Autonomous Car Startup Aurora Plans Large Expansion in Silicon Valley

Since coming out in 2016, Aurora has become a large autonomous company. The California-based startup recently made quite a few changes to solidify its place as one of the main self-driving companies on the market. To coincide with its increase in popularity and growth, Aurora is looking to move into a much larger building, which would allow the company to continue to grow.

Goodbye Palo Alto, Hello Silicon Valley

According to The Mercury News, Aurora has entered into a deal that would see the company expand its footprint in Silicon Valley. The move would see the company's headquarters shift from Palo Alto to Mountain View. Currently, Aurora leases a 30,000 square foot facility in Palo Alto. The building in Mountain View will see Aurora take up roughly 111,000 square feet. So the move is not only a change in scenery, but also one that will see the company drastically expand its footprint.

"This deal shows that Mountain View is still a sought-after location in the Bay Area," said Dave Vanoncini, managing partner with Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm. "There are a lot of key engineers and upper management folks in tech companies who feel Mountain View remains a strategic location and it's worth paying more money for that."

So far, 2019 has been a great year for Aurora. In February, Amazon participated in an investment round that saw the startup secure $530 million in a Series B round of funding. Then in May, the company announced plans to acquire LiDAR company Blackmore . At the time, the startup stated that Blackmore's LiDAR technology would help it reach its goals of becoming the first to introduce commercial FMCW LiDAR sensors for fleet use.

Aurora Has Been Busy

In June, Aurora announced that it would be supplying its self-driving platform to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles . The platform would include the startup's sensors, hardware, processors, cameras, GPS, and mapping data. For FCA, they would get access to Aurora's Level 4 autonomous system, which would immediately give a vehicle a high level of autonomy.

Another major automaker that has invested in Aurora is Hyundai Motor Group. For Hyundai and Kia, Aurora is working on integrating its Aurora Driver self-driving technology into Hyundai's NEXO fuel-cell vehicle, reports the outlet.

"Aurora is the leading innovator of self-driving technology and we look forward to building a stronger collaborative partnership with them," said Youngcho Chi, president of Hyundai Motor Group at the time of funding.

Aurora is expected to renovate and heavily update the new building in Mountain View to accommodate its needs.

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