Aptiv, the parent company of local self-driving car company nuTonomy, plans to open a multi-floor office in Boston that will have an approximate capacity of 300.
The company announced its plan on Tuesday to open a technology center in Boston, which will join Aptiv’s other centers in Pittsburgh and Mountain View, Calif. Aptiv, which acquired nuTonomy in October for $450 million, is an autonomous driving and electric vehicle development company that spun out of auto supplies manufacturer Delphi last week.
Glen De Vos, Aptiv’s CTO and senior vice president, said Aptiv’s new office on Northern Avenue in the Seaport will open sometime the second quarter of next year. He said the office will eventually have the same amount of employees as nuTonomy, which will share the space. NuTonomy has around 130 employees worldwide, with more than 40 of them currently working in the Seaport. Its website currently lists 27 job openings.
“That will be the base for our new mobility segment that will be focused on automated driving, connected services and […] where we think the industry is going,” De Vos said.
The news comes shortly after nuTonomy launched its self-driving passenger pilot with Lyft, one example of the kinds of partnerships that could help bring nuTonomy’s technology to market.
Karl Iagnemma, nuTonomy’s president, said Aptiv is primarily focused on commercial opportunities in the autonomous vehicle space, which could apply to taxi fleets, delivery vehicles and even street sweepers. He said Aptiv eventually plans to sell its autonomous technology to car manufacturers. However, he added, in order for manufacturers to sell autonomous-enabled vehicles at a reasonable price point, the cost of hardware components “needs to come down significantly.”
Aptiv and nuTonomy plan to significantly increase the number of autonomous vehicles they test on the road, which will expand from 60 at the end of the year to 150 by the end of 2018 across Asia, Europe and the United States. NuTonomy’s current operations are mainly split between Boston and Singapore, with a small presence in Santa Monica. De Vos and Iagnemma didn’t say where in Europe Aptiv would expand.