Oct. 28 - 10 min read

Aurora Horizon is Taking the Wheel in Texas

Aurora Horizon is Taking the Wheel in Texas

The Aurora Driver, now in beta, features cutting-edge hardware and fresh capabilities in commercial pilot.

We have always invested up-front in the creation of core technologies built for rapid deployment and scale—an approach we call self-driving 2.0—and the development of the Aurora Driver’s beta version is no different. 

We’re moving quickly toward our commercial launch and our beta release marks an important milestone. It’s a demonstration of our autonomous driving capabilities, a confirmation of our Driver-as-a-Service business model, the manifestation of years of hard work, and the foundation for future versions of our products in the coming years. 

A commercial route to haul goods for customers 

After just a few weeks of refining the Aurora Driver in simulation and testing on a 30-mile section of the 400-mile freight corridor between Dallas and Houston, we’ve begun pulling commercial loads for FedEx with our first beta version of the Aurora Driver.

Aurora Driver Beta is currently hauling loads for FedEx between Dallas and Houston in a commercial pilot of Aurora Horizon. This video is a hyperlapse of that trip, completed autonomously.

Aurora Driver Beta is the culmination of our upgraded hardware and autonomy system with key capabilities that allow our trucks to safely navigate highways and streets. It’s on the road in Texas today in a commercial pilot of our Aurora Horizon product, a suite of subscription services we’re offering to carriers and fleet owners to help them move goods more safely and efficiently. 

What’s in the Aurora Driver Beta release?

Purpose-built hardware to see farther, process sensor data faster, and respond more accurately

Trucks integrated with the Aurora Driver come equipped with our FirstLight lidar, imaging radar, and high-resolution cameras. The Aurora Driver uses early sensor fusion to process data from all of its sensors at once, providing its perception system with a comprehensive view of the environment.  

Our advanced sensor suite allows the Aurora Driver to track velocities and measure the acceleration of vehicles hundreds of meters away while moving at highway speeds, enabling faster, more accurate responses to road conditions.

Autonomy capabilities to drive like an ideal citizen of the road

To safely operate on the highway and nearby streets, our trucks must autonomously handle all kinds of tricky situations they’ll encounter while hauling goods from city to city. 

These refined capabilities, including unprotected left turns, high-speed merges, and various forms of construction, are notoriously difficult for self-driving vehicles in ideal conditions. Today, our autonomous trucks perform them reliably in stop-and-go traffic, while negotiating with other traffic, and even when faced with rare events such as people walking their dogs on a busy freeway. 

We will continue to share more progress on Aurora Horizon and how we are delivering value to our customers.

Aurora Team
Aurora delivers the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly

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