Uber Freight Expands Aurora Driverless Truck Partnership

The companies have signed a new long-term deal to deploy autonomous trucks on shipping routes between Dallas and Houston

Graham Hope

June 26, 2024

2 Min Read
An Uber Freight semi truck on a road.
Uber Freight

Uber Freight and driverless truck company Aurora Innovation have extended their relationship by agreeing to a new long-term deal following a successful pilot.

The collaboration has a number of strands, but most significantly will see the pair deploy autonomous trucks on shipping routes between Dallas and Houston.

The pair have worked together toward this goal for the last few years, using autonomous trucks with safety drivers to move freight in Texas, following Aurora’s purchase of Uber’s dedicated autonomous vehicle unit in 2020.

Now Pittsburgh-based Aurora has targeted the Dallas-Houston route for driverless deliveries by the end of this year and its first customer will be Uber Freight, the logistics platform that puts shippers in contact with carriers in the same way that its ride-hailing app connects drivers to passengers.

Up to 20 driverless Aurora trucks – made by Volvo and Paccar – will be deployed on this route, with the deal marking notable firsts for each company. 

For Aurora, Uber Freight is the first customer to sign up for its driverless service. And for Uber Freight, the agreement represents the first time it has offered fully autonomous freight delivery, despite partnering with other self-driving tech firms including Daimler Trucks Torc Robotics and Canada’s Waabi.

Related:Uber Freight, Aurora Expand Self-Driving Pilot for Holiday Rush

Additionally, a new initiative called Premier Autonomy has been launched. This is being hailed as a program that will pave the way for driverless deliveries by making it easier for Uber Freight carriers to use Aurora’s autonomous tech, the Aurora Driver.

In essence, it constitutes a subscription to the Aurora Driver, with the opportunity to access over one billion driverless miles until 2030. A “seamless integration” of the Aurora Driver onto the Uber Freight platform is promised for customers.

Ossa Fisher, president of Aurora, said: “With Uber Freight, we can provide hundreds of carriers priority access to autonomous truck capacity that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Working with carriers of all sizes is one of the many ways we will transform the industry and see thousands of driverless trucks on the road.”

Lior Ron, founder and chief executive officer of Uber Freight, added: “Autonomous trucks will make moving goods more efficient, and this industry-first program will help facilitate and accelerate the adoption of autonomous trucks with our carriers.”

Aurora says its research shows that autonomous trucks are up to 32% more energy efficient than traditional trucks, due to their ability to deliver optimized speeds, reduce idling and offer increased usage and these benefits the companies will be promoting to potential customers.

Related:Uber Freight, Torc to Accelerate Self-Driving Truck Development

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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