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Volkswagen reportedly calls off partnership with self-driving start-up Aurora, in talks with Ford


Julian Stratenschulte | picture alliance | Getty Images

Volkswagen has ended its relationship with Amazon-backed self-driving start-up Aurora, and is now considering partnerships with Ford and competitor Argo AI, the Financial Times reports.

Three people familiar with the matter said that after a trial run that lasted a few months, the German automaker declined to renew the 2018 contract with Aurora.

A new deal with Ford, however, could be reached by summer, one person told FT.

Aurora on Monday announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler to develop self-driving vehicles for corporate clients. The start-up also raised more than $530 million in an Amazon-led funding round in February, valuing the company at more than $2.5 billion.

Volkswagen, Aurora and Ford did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

A Volkswagen spokesperson offered no details about the end of the Aurora partnership to the paper, but confirmed that “the activities under our parameters have been concluded in regard to Aurora” and that Ford talks “are progressing very well.”

Volkswagen and Ford announced plans in January to partner up on the development of light commercial vehicles, and said they were considering other projects. Volkswagen has also committed over $50 billion to develop more than 50 pure battery-electric vehicles by 2025, to be sold through brands like Porsche and Audi.

Read the full FT report here


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