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Volkswagen and Hyundai ink self-driving deals

Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Aurora Innovation, an autonomous driving startup founded by an early leader of Google's self-driving effort, has signed partnerships with Volkswagen and Hyundai, according to the Wall Street Journal. The startup will work with each automaker to help them get self-driving fleets on the road in 2021.

Why it matters: A growing number of automakers have teamed up with Silicon Valley's bevy of self-driving startups to ensure they can remain competitive in the autonomous future.

Twist: Both automakers admitted to the WSJ that they're also in talks with Waymo, the new name of Google's self-driving car unit and Aurora CEO Chris Urmson's old employer. According to Volkswagen, its work with Waymo would be different than its work with Aurora.

Background: Last year, Urmson started the company with Sterling Anderson, who previously oversaw Tesla's Autopilot technology. The startup quietly raised just over $3 million in funding and has opened offices in Silicon Valley and Pittsburgh.