Aurora Innovation Inc. launched its first commercial-ready terminal for autonomous trucks: a site in Palmer, Texas, that deploys autonomous trucks pulling freight for Aurora’s pilot customers, including FedEx, Schneider and Uber Freight, between Dallas and Houston.
As the company prepares for the commercial launch of Aurora Horizon, its autonomous trucking service, it says it will leverage a network of terminals to house, maintain, prepare, inspect, and deploy autonomous trucks between destinations.
Terminals will also be key to keeping customers’ trucks on the road to haul freight 24/7/365 – a unique value proposition of autonomous trucks. Aurora’s South Dallas terminal was designed to be commercial-ready, meaning it has features and services to enable autonomous deployment and optimize asset utilization for customers, and is in commercial use today.
The terminal includes:
- Specific capabilities for driverless operations such as sensor calibration ranges, high-speed data offload, and launching and landing zones.
- Traditional services including fueling and weigh stations to enable autonomous trucks to continuously drive without additional stops.
- On-site maintenance to optimize fleet uptime and support safe operation of trucks on the road.
“Self-driving technology will fundamentally transform how we move goods,” says Aurora’s Kendra Phillips. “It’s incredibly exciting to lead the way for how to deliver commercial driverless operations to our customers and the broader industry.”
Aurora notes that trailer traffic at the South Dallas terminal has tripled in the last six months. The company is currently hauling 50 customer loads a week across its two commercial routes and expects to increase its pilot hauls to 100 loads per week by the end of this year.