Delphi’s acquisition of nuTonomy combines two leading autonomous driving developers


UK-based automotive technology developer Delphi Automotive has signed an agreement to acquire the MIT autonomous driving (AD) spin-off company nuTonomy Inc. for an upfront purchase price of US$400m and earn-outs totaling approximately US$50m.

The transaction brings together two of the leading developers of self-driving technology and further accelerates Delphi’s commercialization of AD and automated mobility on-demand (AMoD) systems for auto makers and new mobility customers worldwide.

The acquisition of nuTonomy is the latest in a series of investments that Delphi has made to expand its leadership position in the new mobility space, including the acquisition of AD software developer Ottomatika, and data service companies Control-Tec and Movimento.

Founded in 2013 by Dr Karl Iagnemma and Dr Emilio Frazzoli and recently named a ‘World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer’, nuTonomy is developing a proprietary full-stack AD software system for the global AMoD market. The company will add more than 100 employees, including 70 engineers and scientists, to Delphi’s more than 100-member AD team, while increasing the company’s access to new customers and markets in the emerging mobility space.

Upon completion of the transaction, Delphi will have AD operations in Boston, Pittsburgh, Santa Monica, and California’s Silicon Valley in the USA, as well Singapore. nuTonomy will continue to be based in Boston, where both companies currently operate AMoD pilot programs. By combining efforts with nuTonomy in Boston, Singapore and other pilot cities around the world, Delphi will have 60 autonomous cars on the road across three continents by the end of 2017, with the goal to further accelerate global fleet expansion and technology development.

“We are delighted to welcome Karl, Emilio and their talented team to Delphi,” said Delphi’s president and CEO, Kevin Clark. “The combination of the nuTonomy and Ottomatika AD teams, along with our own 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 co-founder and CEO Karl Iagnemma commented, “Our mission has always been to radically improve the safety, efficiency, and accessibility of transportation worldwide. 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.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).