October 25, 2017      

Delphi Automotive has made another major move in its quest to develop autonomous vehicles. The U.K.-based automotive supplier has acquired autonomous vehicle software startup nuTonomy for $450 million.

Delphi will pay $400 million up front for nuTonomy and $50 million in earn-outs. The transaction is expected to be approved by the end of 2017. The nuTonomy acquisition will double Delphi’s self-driving team to more than 200 engineers.

Delphi said the acquisition will help it commercialize autonomous vehicles in 2019, a year earlier than it had planned. Delphi’s chief technology officer, Glen DeVos, said the initial application for its self-driving cars will be in on-demand passenger and logistics fleets used in pre-mapped areas.

nuTonomy, a four-year-old startup that spun out of MIT, raised a $16 million Series A funding round in 2016. nuTonomy’s partnerships with Lyft, Groupe PSA and others will continue as is, and the company will continue to be based in Boston, where it has been testing autonomous vehicles in the city’s seaport district.

After the deal becomes official, Delphi will have autonomous driving operations in Boston, Pittsburgh, Singapore, Santa Monica, and Silicon Valley with hopes of having 60 autonomous cars on the road by the end of 2017.

“Our mission has always been to radically improve the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of transportation worldwide,” said nuTonomy co-founder and CEO Karl Iagnemma. “Joining forces with Delphi brings us one step closer to achieving our goal with a market-leading partner whose vision directly aligns with ours. Together we will set the global standard for excellence in autonomous driving technology.”

nuTonomy’s self-driving taxis having been picking up passengers in Singapore on a limited basis, shuttling passengers around the city’s “one-north” business and residential district. nuTonomy has said it plans to launch its self-driving service in Singapore in 2018.

nuTonomy experienced its first self-driving car crash in October 2016 when one of its cars hit a truck in Singapore as it tried to change lanes. Nobody was injured in the accident.

This is yet another acquisition for Delphi, which has made several moves the last couple years to keep pace in the self-driving car race. In 2015, Delphi acquired Ottomatika for $32 million, a self-driving vehicle software developer that spun out of Carnegie Mellon University. Earlier in 2017, Delphi acquired Movimento for $50 million, a Michigan-based automotive software and data management company. And in May 2017, Delphi joined the group effort of BMW, Intel and Mobileye to co-develop an autonomous driving platform. This group initiative was announced in 2016, which was prior to Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye.

 

“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,” said Delphi’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Clark. “This transaction is another example of our ongoing dedication to developing, implementing, and commercializing the highest performing and safest [autonomous driving] system available.”