FedEx has begun using self-driving trucks to carry luggage between Dallas and Houston as part of a test program with self-driving car startup Aurora and heavy-duty vehicle maker Paccar.
Aurora-powered Paccar trucks are expected to be used multiple times a week to complete an approximately 500-mile route on Interstate 45, the company said on September 22. .. A backup driver gets on the truck, but it runs automatically.
The partnership marks Aurora’s latest move to reach its goal of launching a self-driving delivery business by 2023 that transports packages between terminals without the need for safety drivers to board. It is also part of a series of announcements and updates by Aurora in recent weeks ahead of a vote to decide on an upside-down merger of special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) with Reinvent Technology Partners Y. Reinvent Technology Partners Y was founded by LinkedIn co-founder and investor Reid Hoffman, Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus and managing partner Michael Thompson. It is a company that was made.
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The expected valuation of the merged company scheduled to be listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “AUR” is $ 13 billion. Aurora’s valuation was $ 10 billion after the acquisition of Uber’s autonomous driving division.
“This is an attempt to explore and understand the kind of changes that need to occur in the truck industry,” Aurora co-founder and CPO Sterling Anderson told TechCrunch about self-driving systems. He added that he would also see how the cloud service provided by Aurora fits into FedEx’s business.
Anderson says he will use a small number of trucks for the test. “It doesn’t make sense to launch a large exam right away.” “By moving a handful of trucks on a regular basis, we can start fine-tuning and improving our products,” he said.
There is no set end date for the test, and we expect to evolve and increase the number of trucks that run between Dallas and Houston as we approach products with driverless capabilities.
The test, which began on September 22, follows the announcement of a strategic alliance in early 2021 that Aurora and Paccar will jointly develop, test and commercialize the self-driving Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.
The three-company alliance also demonstrates interest in FedEx’s autonomous driving and robotics solutions. The company continues to deliver the highest deliveries ever. In June, the logistic giant announced a multi-year, multi-faceted strategic alliance to test Nuro’s next-generation self-driving delivery vehicle in FedEx’s operations and ultimately use it.
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