Self-driving truck company Aurora launches test run with Uber Freight

By Akshay Kedari   | Date: 2021-12-17

Self-driving truck company Aurora launches test run with Uber Freight

Aurora's autonomous trucks are reportedly transporting items for Uber Freight customers in Texas as a part of their multiphase commercial trial aimed at bringing the two firms closer.

Although it was officially launched this Wednesday, Aurora has been working with Uber Freight for nearly a year, with mandatory two vehicle safety operators on board, as per a company spokesperson.

The American self-driving company transports freight for customers between Dallas and Houston by utilizing the Uber Freight brokerage platform, which connects truck drivers with transporters who need cargo delivered. It stated that with the addition of new terminals, routes would be expanded.

The big opportunity, which both firms intend to pursue, is the integration of Aurora's trucking subscription service, Aurora Horizon, into Uber Freight. The service oversees the digital and logistics operations to assist the self-driving system.

The services also offer various products, including a mission control system that interfaces with a carrier or network's system and app to communicate dispatching and routing, monitor vehicle health, and handle incident response, as well as a roadside assistance program.

Aurora intends to launch its self-driving trucking business by the end of 2023. The success of the trial run with Uber Freight will enable Aurora Horizon subscribers to use the platform to move more items. Aurora claims that this will increase carrier efficiency and ensure that trucking capacity is not underused. 

It is worth noting that Aurora’s self-driving unit was formed with the acquisition of Uber ATG a year ago in a complicated deal where it did not pay cash. Instead, Uber gave up its ATG stock and provided USD 400 million investment, giving it a 26% share in the combined firm.

Aurora was then a privately held corporation, but that status changed in 2021 when it merged with a special purpose acquisition company and became a publicly traded business in November.

In another major development, Uber Freight acquired USD 2.25 billion Transplace earlier this year to gain larger shares in existing markets and expand into Mexico.

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