A self-driving car technology startup founded by former Google, Tesla and Uber executives said Thursday it secured $530 million in new funding that included a'significant' investment from Amazon. The funding round for Aurora Innovation led by Silicon Valley venture capital powerhouse Sequoia reportedly valued the startup launched just two years ago at more than $2.5 billion. While Aurora might not be well-known, the firm already has links to several big names in the industry, with research and development partnerships that include Byton, Hyundai, and Volkswagen. 'We are always looking to invest in innovative, customer-obsessed companies, and Aurora is just that,' Amazon said in response to an AFP inquiry. 'Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it's in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we're excited about the possibilities.' Aurora is developing the technology for autonomous vehicles, but leaving the making of cars to other companies and said in a blog post it wants to work alongside, rather than compete with, leading automakers.
As expected, Uber is selling off its self-driving unit. On Monday, the company confirmed the sale of its Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) to Aurora Innovation, one of its now previous competitors in the autonomous vehicle space. As part of the deal, Uber will invest $400 million in Aurora, with CEO Dara Khosrowshahi joining the startup's board of directors. Effectively, Uber is paying Aurora to take the division off its hands. In the near term, the startup will put ATG's expertise to use on a self-driving truck it's working on.
Of course, even Arthur is a prop designed to make the two marquee stars seem all the more warm and authentic by comparison. Pratt continues to be one of the most personable on-screen presences in Hollywood. He projects none of the shellacked confidence of most action heroes; his Jim is a sweet sitcom goofus trapped in a Renaissance sculpture's body. Meanwhile Lawrence's Aurora, through no fault of her own, is so banal that the movie's pathos frosts over as soon as she begins talking. She is the one charged with animating lines like "We plan our lives like we're the captains of our fate, but we're passengers; we go where fate takes us."
But while the auroras on Earth are impressive, stunning new images taken by Nasa's Juno probe show that they're nothing in comparison to auroras on Jupiter. Scientists have analysed the data collected by Juno, and suggest that Jupiter's aurora behave in a very different way to those on Earth. For the first time ever, Juno has spotted electrons being fired down into Jupiter's atmosphere at up to 400,000 volts. On Earth, the solar wind is the power source for auroras, firing electrons at up to 30,000 volts. The findings provide key insights into how different planets interact electromagnetically with their space environments.