Aurora announced that it has expanded testing and development to Texas, starting with a small fleet of Aurora vehicles, that have been integrated with its FirstLight LiDAR, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. The company will be testing commercial routes that sit at the center of key logistics delivery corridors with its fleet of Chrysler Pacificas and then class 8 trucks.
“We have always said we’d pick a path to market that allows us to make the biggest impact the fastest. It’s right there in our mission: to deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly. The Aurora Driver is architected to operate various classes of vehicles across a wide range of roadways and operating environments. While the Driver will ultimately move both people and goods, our first commercial product will be in trucking—where the market is largest today, the unit economics are best, and the level of service requirements is most accommodating. Our FirstLight LiDAR is critical to pursuing this product sequence and gives us a crucial competitive advantage in high-speed self-driving,” reported the Aurora team in a recently released article.
Texas was chosen for expanded testing due to its role in the movement of goods and because it has more public road miles than any other state. Additionally, the company cited the state's "open regulatory environment and pro-business policies."
“Of course, driving in Texas has specific requirements and nuances, as does trucking. But when it comes to building self-driving technology, progress is additive. Whether a vehicle is moving people or goods, an investment in foundational elements like world-class perception, localization, and motion planning can’t be sidestepped. Our early focus on the complexities of surface street driving accelerates our ability to handle the hardest aspects of trucking. While this investment takes time on the front end, its payoff can’t be underestimated. Our work in Texas is also additive; experiences navigating new routes in Texas and preparing our system for safe highway driving are applicable and beneficial to the broader rollout of the Aurora Driver,” said the Aurora team.
For more information, visit http://aurora.tech/.