Aurora Outlines Path to Self-Driving Commercial Launch


January 19, 2022

Pittsburgh-based Aurora, which is developing an autonomous trucking and ride-hailing business at scale, has announced its plans to commercially launch the trucking business and ride-hailing business over the next few years. As part of that plan, the company outlined updates and strategies around safety.

By the end of Q1 2022, the company said it expects to launch the Aurora Driver Beta 2.0, the next-generation of its Aurora-Driver-powered trucks, as well as the first test fleet of its Driver-powered Toyota Siennas. Quarterly releases will include updates that refine the software’s ability to operate on highways and surrounding surface streets for both platforms. The company said each beta release will represent progress towards the commercially viable product, “increasing the expanse and maturity necessary to deliver a scalable Aurora Driver.”

The company said the Expanse concept represents the breadth and capabilities and domains in which Aurora Driver can operate. “For example, training the Aurora Driver to handle different types of construction on highways, then suburban settings, and ultimately dense urban environments are increased in the Driver’s ‘expanse,’ “ Aurora said. For the Maturity concept, this represents the degree to which capabilities are ready for commercial deployment, evolving from development to validation to completion.

As part of the company’s Safety Case Framework, which serves as its roadmap for removing vehicle operators from Aurora Driver-powered vehicles, Aurora said it expects to show in Q3 2022 that the driver can respond to system failures at highway speeds by safely pulling over to the shoulder without vehicle operator intervention. Looking ahead, the company said it is working to launch its trucking business in late 2023, and its ride-hailing business in late 2024.

“The Aurora Driver is an incredible solution to transportation challenges that impact goods shortages and road safety,” said Chris Urmson, CEO and co-founder of Aurora. “We are taking a responsible, commercially focused approach to deliver the Aurora Driver, and I expect our progress over the next several quarters to demonstrate this as we advance toward commercialization.”

For more details on the company’s plans to safely build for scale, read this company blog post.

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