Delphi Automotive has acquired nuTonomy Inc. for $450 million. This acquisition is envisioned to further accelerate the development of autonomous vehicles.
nuTonomy is a technology startup company that makes software to build self-driving cars. The company is working toward the development of a proprietary full-stack AD software solution for the global AMoD market. Headquartered in Boston, Karl Iagnemma and Dr. Emilio Frazzoli established the company in 2013, and they have been testing autonomous taxis in Singapore and Boston since last fall.
After the acquisition nuTonomy will remain in Boston and will continue its partnerships with French automaker PSA Group and ride-hailing service provider Lyft.
“We are delighted to welcome Karl, Emilio and their talented team to Delphi,” said Delphi President and CEO Kevin Clark. “The combination of the nuTonomy and Ottomatika AD teams, along with Delphi’s industry-leading portfolio of perception systems and smart-vehicle architecture solutions, further enhances our competitive position as the industry’s most formidable provider of autonomous mobility solutions. This transaction is another example of our ongoing dedication to developing, implementing and commercializing the highest-performing and safest AD system available.”
nuTonomy has 100 employees, including 70 engineers and scientists who will work with Delphi’s 100-member autonomous vehicle team. By March next year Delphi is planning to change its name to Aptiv. And by September Delphi plans to split itself in two companies. Delphi’s focus will be on power trains and Aptiv will focus on self-driving and connected vehicle technology.
According to auto analysts, this acquisition is yet another sign suggesting that major players in the global automotive industry are gearing themselves up for drastic changes in this arena.
“You’re going to see a lot of larger companies with healthy balance sheets gobble up a lot of startups,” said autonomous vehicles consultant Grayson Brulte.
The trend is already being set by a few esteemed organizations, such as when General Motors acquired Cruise Automation, a Silicon Valley driverless-technology startup, for about $1 billion last year. Plus, Ford Motors bought Argo AI for $1 billion this year.