Aurora’s next-generation trucking terminal is designed for commercial driverless operations to maximize utilization for customers
Aurora Innovation, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUR) today announced it has launched its first commercial-ready terminal for autonomous trucks, setting a new standard for commercial operations in the autonomous trucking industry. Aurora’s next-generation South Dallas terminal is designed with innovative features critical for driverless operations and will serve as a blueprint for Aurora’s future network of terminals.
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Aurora’s fleet of autonomous trucks at its South Dallas Terminal. (Photo: Aurora)
On a daily basis, the terminal – located in Palmer, Texas – deploys autonomous trucks pulling freight for Aurora’s pilot customers, including FedEx, Schneider, and Uber Freight, between Dallas and Houston. As the company prepares for the commercial launch of Aurora Horizon, its autonomous trucking service, it will leverage a network of terminals to house, maintain, prepare, inspect, and deploy autonomous trucks between destinations.
Terminals will also be key to keeping customers’ trucks on the road to haul freight 24/7/365 – a unique value proposition of autonomous trucks. Aurora’s South Dallas terminal was designed to be commercial-ready, meaning it has features and services to enable autonomous deployment and optimize asset utilization for customers, and is in commercial use today. The terminal includes:
- Specific capabilities for driverless operations such as sensor calibration ranges, high-speed data offload, and launching and landing zones.
- Traditional services including fueling and weigh stations to enable autonomous trucks to continuously drive without additional stops.
- On-site maintenance to optimize fleet uptime and support safe operation of trucks on the road.
“Self-driving technology will fundamentally transform how we move goods,” said Kendra Phillips, Vice President of Service Delivery at Aurora. “It's incredibly exciting to lead the way for how to deliver commercial driverless operations to our customers and the broader industry.”
Since Ms. Phillips joined Aurora a year ago, she has led a team of industry experts focused on developing the services that will support Aurora Horizon. This includes terminal infrastructure, customer services, and operating best practices to launch a valuable product. “This blueprint for next-generation autonomous terminals will be instrumental as we deploy autonomous trucks at scale across the U.S.,” added Phillips.
Momentum toward commercial operations
In the past six months, the trailer traffic at the terminal has tripled, which mirrors Aurora’s growth in pilot hauls. Aurora is currently hauling 50 customer loads a week across its two commercial routes and expects to increase its pilot hauls to 100 loads per week by the end of 2023.
Aurora recently announced the Aurora Driver, the technology that will power its driverless trucking service, is Feature Complete. With the achievement of Feature Complete, the company enters its final phase of refinement and validation ahead of commercial launch.
As Aurora matures its commercial operations, pilot customers are receiving a complete and seamless experience from trailer drop-off to pick-up. Aurora expects its Houston terminal to be ready for commercial operation in Q3 2023, which will enable end-to-end autonomous operation on its launch lane.
Aurora (Nasdaq: AUR) is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, from freight-hauling semi-trucks to ride-hailing passenger vehicles, and underpins Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, its driver-as-a-service products for trucking and ride-hailing. Aurora is working with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem, including Toyota, FedEx, PACCAR, Volvo Trucks, Uber, Uber Freight, U.S. Xpress, Werner, Covenant, Schneider, and Ryder. For Aurora’s latest news, visit aurora.tech and @aurora_inno on Twitter.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Press Release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those statements around Aurora’s operations and the development, commercialization or market impact of Aurora’s products and services. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. For factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, please see the risks and uncertainties identified under the heading “Risk Factors” section of Aurora’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on February 21, 2023, and other documents filed by Aurora from time to time with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements reflect our beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. Aurora undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.
Aurora’s next-generation South Dallas terminal is designed with innovative features critical for driverless operations and will serve as a blueprint for Aurora’s future network of terminals.