Aurora Innovation has announced that the Aurora Driver is Feature Complete, a vital milestone on the company’s path to launching the autonomous trucking subscription service, Aurora Horizon.
Achieved in Q1 of 2023, Feature Complete confirms Aurora has introduced the final driving capabilities needed to commercially haul freight without vehicle operators between Dallas and Houston in Texas by the end of 2024. Reaching Feature Complete with the release of Aurora Driver Beta 6.0 is the result of many years of innovation.
“From day one, we made foundational technology investments and strategic decisions that have helped us reach this pivotal moment,” said Chris Urmson, co-founder and chief executive officer at Aurora. “We are now positioned to close our Safety Case for launch, the final step to achieving Aurora Driver Ready later this year. As we mature operations in advance of the launch of Aurora Horizon, our customers will continue to experience the value autonomy can bring to their businesses.”
Over the last year and a half, Aurora has released an array of capabilities through six Aurora Driver Beta updates. Each of these has gradually enhanced the Aurora Driver’s autonomous performance, safety and reliability in pilot hauls for companies including FedEx, Werner, Schneider and Uber Freight.
Several capabilities are unlocked through Beta 6.0 to improve driverless operations. Two of the main capabilities include the smart solution’s ability to: identify and respond to collisions with other vehicles or property by coming to a safe stop before notifying a Command Center Specialist if Aurora Driver detects that is has been involved in a collision; and detect and respond to out of design domain scenarios, such as extreme weather events, in which the Aurora Driver will contact a Command Center Specialist who will then instruct the commercial vehicle and then rest of the fleet on how to proceed safely.
Aurora is now entering the final phase of refinement and validation ahead of the solution’s launch. By the end of 2023, the company anticipates it will complete the necessary validation processes to close the Aurora Driver Safety Case for driverless operations on its launch lane between Dallas and Houston. In tandem, the company will continue to mature its operations as pilot load volume is expected to increase to 100 loads per week by the end of the year.