Germany's major automotive corporation Volkswagen announced on Thursday its plans to cooperate with Silicon Valley firm Aurora on building self-driving vehicles.
Volkswagen representatives hope that the two companies will be able to launch autonomous cars by 2021.
"Working with Aurora, means a huge leap forward for us in achieving our mission of becoming the world's leading provider of sustainable mobility via self-driving vehicles," the German company said in a statement.
According to FT, Volkswagen plans to finance the project with €34 billion, most of which will be spent on research in the area of self-driving and electric vehicles.
In 2018, VW reportedly plans to equip a series of cars with the self-driving system in a test mode.
The vision of the new advanced cars has been developed by Aurora, one of the major Silicon Valley startups.
"Our priority at Aurora is making self-driving vehicles a reality… we know we'll get there sooner if we enter a partnership," Aurora's chief executive and Google veteran Chris Urmson said.
Over the last few years, a number of companies have been developing unmanned vehicles, including Elon Musk's Tesla, as well as major carmakers worldwide.
In December, the French automotive company Renault Group unveiled a model of its unmanned electric car, first introduced in the fall of 2017.
The company plans to launch another new concept car in 2023. The vehicle will have two electric motors, which will give it a maximum power output of about 500 kW and 660 Nm.