Aurora Innovation, an autonomous driving tech developer, and Werner Enterprises, a trucking and logistics firm, are testing the use of autonomous technology between El Paso and Fort Worth, in Texas, United States.
The 600 mile stretch of highway is the middle leg of one of America’s busiest trucking routes between Atlanta and Los Angeles.
The two companies will employ the Aurora Horizon and Aurora Driver systems. The trucks will be occupied by a human driver who will be correct the trucks if there are glitches in the systems. Aurora brought two new terminals online to service the road from Fort Worth to El Paso. What it learns from this pilot project will allow it to improve its Horizon and Driver systems to deploy them on other routes too, eventually.
Aurora’s Driver and Horizon technologies consist of software, computers, and sensors that enable Aurora and Werner to dispatch and monitor trucks for maintenance and roadside assistance.
Aurora wants to start its commercial autonomous driving truck service in 2023. Earlier this year, the firm announced a group effort with freight carriers U.S. Xpress to find commercial applications for its technology that can help trucking companies combat driver shortages and supply chain disruptions.