Aurora opens first terminal for driverless trucks; awaits ruling on exemption request

Self-driving vehicle startup Aurora Innovation Inc. has launched its first commercial terminal for autonomous trucks in Texas, creating a model for an eventual network of terminals that will allow around the clock driverless shipping.

The new Palmer, Texas 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.

High speed data offload is among the new terminal’s features that will enable driverless operations. Fueling, weigh stations and on-site maintenance facilities are other features that will allow continuous operation of autonomous trucks…

Separately, the Strip District-based company, which was founded in 2017 and employs about 1,600 people, is facing labor union pushback on its request to use an alternate hazard warning system for trucks stopped on road shoulders rather than the reflective triangles or flares now required by the federal government.