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Aurora expands autonomous freight pilot with FedEx to Texas – TechCrunch


Aurora Innovation, an autonomous vehicle technology company, has expanded its autonomous freight pilot with FedEx to include a new route from Fort Worth to El Paso, Texas.

The startup has been transporting freight for FedEx between Dallas and Houston since September 2021, which involves making the 240-mile journey each night. The new lane challenges Aurora’s trucks to a much longer route of around 600 miles, which they will operate on a weekly basis, according to the company.

Texas has become a battleground for self-driving freight companies looking to market themselves, with competitors Waymo Via, Kodiak Robotics and TuSimple all piloting their vehicles on many of the same highways.

Aurora has been moving freight between its new terminals in Fort Worth and El Paso since March, the company said. Shipments made on its first trade lane between Dallas and Houston were all delivered on time 100% of the time, according to Aurora, which noted it has provided thousands of FedEx customers with self-carried packages.

Aurora’s trucks, which are based on the new Peterbilt 579, are capable of operating in a variety of weather conditions and at all hours of the day and night. To date, Aurora and FedEx have traveled a total of 60,000 miles without any security incidents, according to Aurora.

“Some time ago I was asked why the general public should care about autonomous trucking. That is why. In six months of working with FedEx, we have transported packages safely, reliably and efficiently for tens of thousands of FedEx customers,” said Sterling Anderson, co-founder and chief product officer of Aurora, in a statement. “This lane extension has arrived ahead of schedule and we are excited to continue building the future of trucking with one of the largest and most important transportation companies in the nation.”


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