Ridecell Acquires Auro, Maker of Self-Driving Shuttles

Ridecell, a software startup in the car-sharing and ride-sharing market, is buying Auro Robotics, one of the earliest autonomous vehicle startups, Auro CEO Nalin Gupta confirmed to The Information, without elaborating. The all-stock deal is likely to value Auro at around $20 million, said a person briefed on the deal.

Auro equips off-the-shelf electric golf carts with object detection sensors and self-driving software. The firm had raised several million dollars and has been developing a shuttle service for the Santa Clara University campus, but technical progress has been slow-going, said one person with knowledge of the service.

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Some ride-sharing companies, such as Waymo, may prefer to do such things in-house. Waymo plans to launch a commercial autonomous ride-sharing service in the Phoenix area as soon as this fall. 

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Ridecell hopes that the Auro acquisition will help it to create software aimed at self-driving car developers