Self-Driving Startup Aurora Innovation Is Going Public: Is It a Buy?

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Self-driving technology start-up Aurora Innovation said on July 15 that it has agreed to go public via a merger with Reinvent Technology Partners Y (NASDAQ:RTPY), a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal that values the combined company at $13 billion.

Investors who have been following the self-driving space have probably had Aurora on their radar screens for a while now. The company’s partnerships with Uber Technologies (NYSE:UBER) and heavy-truck makers Volvo AB (OTC:VLVL.Y)(OTC:VOLV.F) and PACCAR (NASDAQ:PCAR) — all of which are investing in this deal — have helped it stand out in a crowded field…

Aurora’s co-founders are self-driving heavyweights: CEO Chris Urmson was an early leader of the original Google Self-Driving Car Project, which became Waymo; chief product officer Sterling Anderson once ran Tesla’s Autopilot program; and CTO Drew Bagnell is an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s vaunted Robotics Institute, where many leaders in this space were educated.