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Self-Driving Tech Company Aurora Names Pittsburgh As Official Corporate Headquarters

Courtesy of Aurora Innovation, Inc.

Self-driving technology startup Aurora announced Thursday that Pittsburgh will be its official corporate headquarters.

The company has had significant presences in both Pittsburgh and Mountain View, California. As part of the process of going public later this year, Aurora executives had to select an official headquarters address, and chose 1654 Smallman in the Strip District, across the street from the redeveloped Produce Terminal.

“We believe that Pittsburgh is really in the position to develop this technology,” said Gerardo Interiano, Aurora’s vice president of government relations. “You have a community that has really embraced this technology that are first adopters and that are willing to work with us and alongside us to be able to deploy this technology safely across the state.”

Aurora employs about 1,600 people, the majority of whom are based in Pittsburgh. Several Aurora executives live in Pittsburgh, including founder and chief technology officer Drew Bagnell. Interiano says Aurora has hired several hundred people since the start of the pandemic. The company currently has close to 100 open positions, more than half of which can be hired in Pittsburgh.

“Pittsburgh is a place that has incredible talent,” Interiano said. “That pipeline that comes out of the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon…. It’s a great place for us to be hiring and we’re also finding that people are willing to relocate to Pittsburgh.”

Aurora also announced $65,000 in funding for Allegheny County classroom STEM projects such as building volcanoes, a chicken egg incubator, and a digital microscope.

Aurora is one of several driverless technology companies in Pittsburgh, a hub for autonomous vehicle development and testing. The company aims to launch its first autonomous product, a self-driving truck, by the end of 2023.

Susan Scott Peterson is an audio producer and writer whose journalism, radio and literary work have appeared with Vox Media, New Hampshire Public Radio, Allegheny Front, The Texas Observer and The Rumpus.