FedEx loads are being hauled by PACCAR trucks enabled with autonomous driving technology from Aurora on routes in Texas.
The commercial pilot of autonomous trucks in linehaul trucking operations is the first collaboration of its kind between a truck manufacturer, an autonomous technology developer and a logistics provider.
“PACCAR is pleased to partner with industry leaders FedEx and Aurora on this innovative project,” said John Rich, PACCAR chief technology officer.
PACCAR’s autonomously enabled trucks configured with the Aurora autonomous Driver will haul FedEx loads between Dallas and Houston, a 500-mile (800-km) round trip, along the Interstate 45 corridor. The trucks will operate autonomously, with a backup driver for additional safety.
“FedEx was built on innovation, and we always anticipate what’s next to be future-ready,” said Rebecca Yeung, FedEx Corporation vice-president, advanced technology and innovation.
“This is an exciting, industry-first collaboration that will work towards enhancing the logistics industry through safer, more efficient transportation of goods and we are pleased to collaborate with other industry leaders – Aurora and PACCAR – on this endeavor.”
In January 2021, PACCAR announced a strategic alliance with Aurora to develop, test and commercialize autonomous Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. The strategic alliance will integrate PACCAR’s autonomous vehicle platform with the Aurora Driver to enhance the safety and operational efficiency of PACCAR’s customers.
“As leaders in our respective fields, we have critical and unique perspectives on how to develop and deploy safe, self-driving truck solutions for this industry,” said Sterling Anderson, Aurora chief product officer.
“This collaboration allows for the creation of a cohesive and integrated product and service. We believe there is no other credible way to deliver this complex and valuable technology at scale.”
PACCAR designs and manufactures light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks under the Kenworth, Peterbilt and DAF nameplates. PACCAR also designs and manufactures advanced powertrains, provides financial services and information technology, and distributes truck parts related to its principal business.
Founded in 2017 by experts in the self-driving industry, Aurora is building the Aurora Driver, a platform that brings together software, hardware and data services to autonomously operate passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and heavy-duty trucks. Aurora is partnered with Toyota, Uber, Volvo, and PACCAR.