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FORMER head of Audi R&D and well-known automotive industry executive Peter Mertens has been appointed chairman of automotive software company Aurora Labs.

Mr Mertens has served as a senior executive at car-makers including Daimler. He was vehicle line executive of compact cars at GM, head of R&D at Volvo Cars and most recently, chief technical officer and head of R&D and design at Audi.

He has also served on supervisory boards of global mobility companies including Faurecia, proteanTecs, Recogni, V-HOLA, Valens, Next Mobility Labs and Circunomics.

Aurora is aiming to reinvent remote software management, remote diagnostics, and over-the-air updates for the automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) industries.

Using machine-learning algorithms to analyse risks and changes in software functionality and behaviour, the company’s technology is claimed to improve user experience and lower the cost of software quality, safety and security.

Its software solutions continuously collect actionable data, to enable pre-error detection of line-of-code faults and on-the-go software error fixes that are said to be both reliable and cost-effective.

The company was founded in 2016 by Zohar Fox and Ori Lederman, and has raised $A45 million of investment. It has offices in Israel, Germany, North Macedonia and the United States.

Mr Mertens said: “The team is delivering cornerstone technology helping auto manufacturers navigate through the industry’s transition to a software world.

“Software has to be taken seriously, and we must aim to understand how automotive software behaves with the ability to predict and fix software is key to the realisation of connected, autonomous and electric vehicles.”

Aurora co-founder and CEO Zohar Fox said: “Peter’s extensive experience, credibility and the authoritative voice he has with automotive R&D executives will propel us into the next phase of company growth.

“Peter understands the heightened importance of automotive software safety and security for the new realm of connected, autonomous and electric vehicles. He also has keen insights into how automotive companies embrace and deploy new technologies.”

By Neil Dowling

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