In it for the long haul: teaming up with PACCAR to build and deploy self-driving trucks
Today we’re excited to share we’ve reached a significant milestone in delivering our first product, a driverless truck.
Realizing self-driving technology is among the most challenging engineering problems of our generation. Solving it holds the potential to profoundly impact our world.
There is a deep human cost to driving: more than a million people lose their lives in traffic-related accidents on the world’s roads— another 30–50 million people are injured, with the vast majority (94%) due to human error. For those who are not touched by tragedy, transportation is the second largest expense in the family budget, behind only housing. Yet, for all of this expense, we drive our cars less than five percent of the time. We also devote a vast amount of real estate to them: every vehicle owned requires more than three parking spots scattered between our work, home, and shops. This has led us to plan our cities around cars and parking, not around people. Meanwhile and in spite of this tremendous use of resources, over six million people in the United States have difficulty accessing the transportation they need.
Self-driving vehicles can address these problems and more, if we are thoughtful about bringing the right products to market safely and at scale.
Developing a safe self-driving vehicle requires rigorous engineering and deep experience across a broad array of engineering disciplines from artificial intelligence and machine learning, to electrical, mechanical, and optical engineering. Each of these disciplines have made major advances in the last few years, ranging from the expansion of neural networks; to new silicon that runs them; to new sensing technology that feed them. A self-driving system designed today from a clean sheet incorporates the lessons of the past while capitalizing on the technological advances of the present.
Self-driving technology brings a number of significant changes to our vehicles, from the sensors they carry to the electrical architectures they incorporate, to the design and experience they evoke. Automakers have perfected the art of building, delivering, and supporting these already-tremendously complex machines around the globe; enabled with the right technology and partnerships, they will continue to create amazing, safer vehicles with even better customer experiences.
We founded Aurora to work alongside, rather than in competition with, the world’s leading automakers. Aurora will develop the self-driving technology to work in tandem with the vehicles it drives and help bring both to market safely, quickly, and broadly. We bring together a team and a business model that allows experienced self-driving experts to work alongside seasoned automotive professionals to build a more capable technology than either can make alone. We’ve been pleased with, and humbled by, the response from both our team and top automakers. In 2017, Aurora grew from a handful of individuals in California and Pennsylvania to scores of exceptionally talented experts from across the engineering spectrum. Today, our test fleets operate autonomously on public roads in both states. We’ve also been working with leading partners from across the automotive world to lay the foundation for rapid success and deployment in the years to come.
We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to realize the social good that self-driving vehicles can bring. We’re mission driven people who love to learn, be challenged, and deliver. We’re growing rapidly in areas ranging from Machine Learning and engineering (software, mechanical, electrical, etc.) to program management, operations and self-driving vehicle testing.
If you’re great at what you do and would like to join us in making safe, self-driving technology widely available, please let us know at https://aurora.tech/careers/.