Trucks Move Past Cars on the Road to Autonomy
In 2016, three veterans of the still young autonomous vehicle industry formed Aurora, a startup focused on developing self-driving cars. Partnerships followed with major automakers, including Hyundai and Volkswagen. CEO Chris Urmson said at the time that the link-ups would help the company bring “mobility as a service” to urban areas—Uber-like rides without a human behind the wheel.
But by late 2019, Aurora’s emphasis had shifted. It said self-driving trucks, not cars, would be quicker to hit public roads en masse. Its executives, who had steadfastly refused to provide a timeline for their self-driving-car software, now say trucks equipped with its “Aurora Driver” will hit the roads in 2023 or 2024, with ride-hail vehicles following a year or two later.
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