Aurora announces autonomous trucking commercial pilot

Driverless vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. announced that it will begin a commercial pilot program with refrigerated trucking company Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc. to “test and safely deploy” autonomous trucking for refrigerated cargo between Dallas and Houston.

The announcement came Wednesday, three weeks after Aurora launched its first commercial terminal for autonomous trucks in Palmer, Texas, creating a model for an eventual network of terminals that will allow around the clock driverless shipping. The terminal uses driverless tractor trailers to move freight between Dallas and Houston for Aurora’s pilot customers, including FedEx, Schneider and Uber Freight. These trips still have a human driver at the wheel pending Aurora’s commercial launch of driverless technology in 2024…

The pilot pairs the refrigerated trailers with driver-equipped tractors to navigate the 400-mile round-trip on I-45 between Aurora’s Houston and South Dallas terminals.