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Aurora AUR Werner Enterprises WERN self-driving vehicles in Texas

06 January 2022, US, Las Vegas: Robotic truck firm Aurora exhibits off a self-driving semi-truck on the CES tech present in Las Vegas. Within the Corona pandemic, curiosity in autonomous freight transport elevated. 

Andrej Sokolow | Image Alliance | Getty Photographs

Self-driving startup Aurora Innovation has gone trucking in Texas.

Aurora introduced Wednesday that it has begun a pilot take a look at of self-driving tractor-trailers with logistics big Werner Enterprises. Aurora’s self-driving system – known as Aurora Driver – will probably be working Werner vehicles on a roughly 600-mile stretch of freeway between Fort Value and El Paso.

That specific stretch is a vital phase of a closely traveled truck route between Atlanta and Los Angeles. However in keeping with the businesses, it is a monotonous nine-hour drive that human truck drivers would reasonably keep away from – making it a really perfect use case for the Aurora Driver system, which by no means will get bored.

In the meanwhile, the Aurora-driven vehicles could have human operators on board, able to take over if wanted. Aurora’s system additionally is not being requested to deal with any tight city driving conditions.

Regardless of the constraints, the take a look at is a vital step ahead for Aurora’s driverless know-how at a second when trucking corporations like Werner are grappling with a nationwide shortage of qualified human truck drivers.

Werner’s CEO, Derek Leathers, was fast to say that the purpose is not to interchange the corporate’s human drivers totally. As a substitute, as he sees it, self-driving techniques like Aurora’s will be capable to deal with routes that Werner’s human drivers would reasonably keep away from, whereas increasing the corporate’s capability throughout busy durations.

“We sit up for constructing a hybrid world the place drivers proceed to haul freight whereas autonomous vehicles complement rising demand,” Leathers stated.

That is Werner’s first expertise with autonomous vehicles, however it’s not the Aurora Driver’s first deployment in massive rigs. Each FedEx and Uber Technologies‘ trucking unit, Uber Freight, are working related pilot packages with Aurora-driven heavy vehicles. Aurora can be testing its Driver system with Toyota minivans in a ride-hailing fleet in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Aurora acquired Uber’s self-driving division in 2020.

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