Uber Freight and Aurora Innovation announced a recent expansion of their autonomous pilot with a new commercial lane between Fort Worth and El Paso.
This is the same trucking lane Aurora and FedEx expanded earlier this year in their pilot.
The 600-mile lane across Texas launched in October and supports Uber Freight customers as they prepare for the 2022 holiday season.
As online shopping increasingly becomes the status quo around the holidays, so has the potential for delays, errors, higher pricing, and low product inventory.
During peak season, it’s expected that approximately 1 billion packages will be shipped within the U.S. alone.
To help Uber Freight customers meet demand, Aurora’s autonomous trucking service, Aurora Horizon, is making weekly hauls of consumer and wholesale goods across the state with its latest generation of trucks, based on PACCAR’s Peterbilt 579M.
“The holidays are a challenging time for the logistics industry. We’re crafting Aurora Horizon to help carriers of all sizes alleviate some of the supply chain pressures that typically accompany them,” said Sterling Anderson, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Aurora.
“Deploying our technology with the Uber Freight team over this 600-mile trip at the peak of the season is an outgrowth of our mutual commitment to ensure that Aurora Horizon can enable carriers of all sizes to safely and efficiently haul freight 24/7/365 on the Uber Freight network.”
Unlocking Autonomous Truck Capacity for All Carriers on the Uber Freight Network
Aurora’s autonomous technology is being developed to offer carriers a reliable supply of “drivers.”
Testing and validating it during one of the busiest times of the year highlights its potential to respond quickly as demand rises and supply chain needs fluctuate.
Autonomous trucks can also help alleviate what is often considered one of the least safe times to travel each year according to a report from the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), allowing human drivers to opt for short-haul trips and stay closer to home.
“Our extensive and efficient digital marketplace is a key ingredient for autonomous freight deployment,” said Lior Ron, CEO of Uber Freight.
“As the preferred marketplace for autonomous trucks, we are incredibly excited to partner with these two companies laser-focused on paving the way for a hybrid network, together. It’s an honor to get in the trenches with Veritiv’s commitment to next-generation supply chains and Aurora’s best-in-class innovation to better understand how autonomous freight can and will safely become a reality.”
As Aurora works with additional carriers on the Uber Freight network, the company will incorporate learnings from this pilot into its subscription service dedicated to carriers and private fleets.
Aurora and Uber Freight aim to unlock autonomous truck capacity for carriers with Aurora Horizon, which will be deployed in the coming years and serve carriers across the Uber Freight platform.
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