Auto parts supplier Delphi is doubling down on self-driving tech with its latest buy: the UK firm has acquired Boston-based autonomous vehicle startup NuTonomy for $450 million in a deal announced today.
That’s significant not only because Delphi has tremendous global reach, but also because it’s already fairly deep in the self-driving game. Last August, it teamed up with Mobileye – which originally created Tesla’s Autopilot tech – to develop an autonomous vehicle system, after fitting out an Audi with enough smarts to navigate itself across 3,000 miles way back in 2014.
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Both Delphi and NuTonomy have been testing their tech in Singapore since last year. The deal will see Delphi put 60 self-driving cars on roads in several pilot cities by the end of 2017, and add 70 engineers and scientists to its team.
This should make the race between tech and automotive firms to deliver self-driving systems even more exciting to follow. Tesla and Waymo are constantly making great strides in the field racking up millions of miles in testing, while Uber is getting hammered in a lawsuit for allegedly stealing trade secrets from Google; Audi is partnering with Nvidia to launch its own self-driving car by 2020, and Android software maker Cyanogen pivoted earlier this month to focus on autonomous vehicle tech. Who’ll reach the finish line first is anyone’s guess.