Aurora will offer its self-driving truck service through Uber Freight

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Aurora, an autonomous technology developer that intends to offer commercial driverless tractor-trailer service from 2023, intends to integrate its subscription-based system into Uber Freight, the truck reservation service operated by public transport giant Uber.

This month, tractor-trailers, equipped with Aurora’s software, sensors and computer system, began transporting goods for Uber Freight in Texas, but with human backup drivers behind the wheel, the company said in a blog post today. The “drop-and-hook loads” were made between the company’s Silicon Valley-based hubs in Dallas and Houston, where loads were transferred to trucks booked through Uber Freight to pick them up for final delivery.

“By leveraging Uber Freight’s technology, we were able to seamlessly transfer between Uber Freight’s local carriers and our vehicle operators at the transfer center, paving the way for a hybrid future with local carriers and Aurora-equipped trucks,” the company said. “As we expand our Aurora routes and terminals, we will increase our coverage and deepen Aurora Horizon’s integration into Uber Freight’s network.”

Aurora Horizon, the company’s subscription service for self-driving trucking, is to be integrated into Uber Freight’s platform within the next two years to help goods move more efficiently, with less downtime. inactivity in the overall shipping process, according to Aurora.

“A huge challenge in the freight industry is addressing underutilization and inefficient load provisioning,” the company said. “This underutilization is why many U.S. carriers rely on Uber Freight, a transformative logistics platform that connects shippers to one of the world’s largest digital carrier networks. . . . Integrating Aurora Horizon into a digital marketplace like Uber Freight enhances its value for carriers by providing them with additional tools to increase asset utilization and unlock more opportunities to move freight.

2021’s supply chain disruptions, combined with a shortage of long-haul truck drivers, have raised the profile of companies developing self-driving technologies for major platforms, including TuSimple, Embark, Waymo and Aurora . Although Waymo and Aurora are also working on self-driving services (and Waymo already operates a commercial one in suburban Phoenix), self-driving trucks could become a more lucrative business in the near term, due to ever-increasing demand for deliveries. faster.

Aurora acquired Uber’s autonomous technology unit in late 2020, and the transit company is also one of its top investors. Aurora also intends to provide an autonomous transportation system for use by Uber in the next few years.

Shares of the company, which went public via a SPAC merger in November, rose 9.6% to $13.22 in Nasdaq trading on Wednesday.

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