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Amazon has taken a massive leap into the driverless vehicle arena by investing in autonomous technology developer Aurora.

The third co-founder is Drew Bagnell, formerly of Uber, while, as part of this funding round, Sequoia partner Carl Eschenbach will join Aurora's board. The round reportedly gives Aurora a valuation north of $2.5 billion, making it one of the most valuable independent players in the autonomous driving market. Chief Technology Officer Drew Bagnell was previously a lead engineer with Uber Technologies Inc.'s self-driving vehicle group, while Chief Product Officer Sterling Anderson worked at Tesla Inc.as the head of its Autopilot unit. It was founded in 2016 by Chris Urmson, who led Google's self-driving vehicle project before it became Waymo. The company presently employs around 250 workers split between its Bay Area and Pittsburgh campuses.

"Since we set out on our mission two years ago to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly and broadly, we have received an incredible amount of support and interest in the future we are building", said Aurora's press release.

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But Dani Alves may be needed in defence now, after Thomas Meunier suffered a concussion during a Ligue 1 clash against Bordeaux . If we are missing lots of key players, it's an even bigger challenge, but we will be ready on Tuesday, I think".


Sequoia Capital and T.Rowe Price were also major investors during the investment round, altogether signaling a vote of confidence in the self-driving competition now underway that Amazon apparently doesn't intend to miss out on. Embark also received significant funding from Sequoia past year and has raised $47 million overall to date.

In California alone, over 60 companies have DMV permits to test autonomous vehicles on the roads (most commonly with safety drivers in attendance), although the burgeoning industry is still dominated by cash-rich giants like Alphabet Inc. and GM.

Aurora says it will now be able to increase its team of 200 employees while continuing to develop the software and hardware used by cars from Volkswagen, Hyundai and Byton. Amazon invests in self-driving technology Amazon is very interested in self-driving technology.


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