Aurora to trial driverless trucks for FedEx

Autonomous vehicle company Aurora is set to begin trialling driverless trucks that use its software to ship goods for US delivery giant FedEx.

The vehicles will make an 800km journey between Dallas and Houston, across the Interstate Highway 45 corridor, with the assistance of a safety driver behind the wheel and a co-pilot in the passenger seat.

Aurora’s vehicles are initially set to handle several loads a week.

The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company was founded in 2016 by Chris Urmson, formerly chief technology officer of Alphabet’s self-driving team, which later became Waymo, alongside senior executives from Uber and Tesla.

Aurora said it aims to implement vehicles without a safety driver by late 2023 for commercial trucking use.

The news comes after Uber invested $400 million into Aurora in December 2020, in a move which saw it transfer its self-driving business Advanced Technologies Group to the start-up.

Autonomous vehicle projects are also seeing large scale partnerships in the UK; Asda announced this week it will trial autonomous delivery vans as part of its last mile operation.

The supermarket retailer is partnering with UK-based autonomous mobility start-up Wayve to deliver the trial in London, which will begin early next year.

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