Aurora Innovation says that development is underway of the Aurora Beacon platform, its cloud-based mission control system designed to enable customers to optimize operations of autonomous vehicles for 24/7/365 operation. The company says the platform will help customers of Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, Aurora’s trucking and ride-hailing products, realize the full potential of their Aurora Driver-powered vehicles.
“Self-driving vehicles will provide much-needed capacity to carriers, networks and fleets, allowing them to respond to unmet demand and grow their business. Unlocking their full potential to go beyond what conventional vehicles can do, requires the right operational tools. We’re designing those tools in the Aurora Beacon platform,” said Sterling Anderson, chief product officer and co-founder at Aurora.
The system will give customers access to real-time data of each Aurora Driver-powered vehicle, including its health, status and current location. Aurora Beacon will also provide real-time alerts about vehicle status, ETA, traffic conditions, updates to missions, major weather events, and more.
The intent is to enable fleet managers to make fast, data-based decisions to tightly monitor, coordinate, remotely observe, redirect and support their autonomous vehicles. For example, when decreasing tire pressure is detected and an alert is sent, a fleet manager can redirect the vehicle immediately to a service center.
Another notable module of Aurora Beacon is a remote support tool that allows specialists to provide high-level guidance to Aurora Driver-powered vehicles when they encounter a situation where the autonomy solution is unclear, like bespoke interactions with law enforcement officials.
Aurora Beacon is already being actively used to manage and support Aurora’s own fleet operations today, from scheduling, dispatch, monitoring, coordination and remote support. Aurora has designed its commercial pilots with FedEx, Uber Freight and Werner and its collaboration with U.S. Xpress to exercise and refine the totality of its Aurora Horizon product suite, which includes the Aurora Driver and Aurora Beacon.
As the company approaches commercial deployment, Aurora Beacon is expected to transition from a first-party tool to one that carriers, fleets and networks can incorporate into their existing systems via API.