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FedEx, Aurora expand autonomous trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule

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FedEx, Aurora expand autonomous trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule
Aurora Innovation, Inc. and FedEx Corp. announced the expansion of their pilot program to autonomously move FedEx shipments on an additional commercial lane in Texas. (Courtesy: FedEx)

PITTSBURGH — Aurora Innovation Inc. and FedEx Corp. have announced the expansion of their pilot program to autonomously move FedEx shipments on an additional commercial lane in Texas.

In March 2022, Aurora’s next-generation autonomous trucks — based on the new Peterbilt 579 — began to transport FedEx shipments between Aurora’s new terminals in Fort Worth and El Paso. Aurora is making the 600-mile trip on a weekly basis with safety drivers on board and expects to increase the frequency of trips in the coming months. Aurora continues to move shipments for FedEx between Aurora’s South Dallas terminal and its new Houston terminal on a daily basis.

Progress and momentum: FedEx and Aurora pilot snapshot

  • Since the commercial pilot began in September 2021, Aurora’s deliveries of FedEx shipments between Dallas and Houston have been 100% on time.
  • With each trip, the Aurora Driver (Aurora’s self-driving technology product) is providing thousands of FedEx customers with packages that were autonomously transported.
  • Aurora moves trailers for FedEx during various weather conditions and all hours of the day and night, optimizing fleet utilization.
  • Aurora completed daily hauls during the 2021 peak Holiday season, the busiest time of year for FedEx.
  • To date, the companies have completed 60,000 miles with zero safety incidents.

“Aurora’s performance throughout this pilot demonstrates the value proposition autonomous trucking offers for transportation and logistics providers as Aurora works toward the commercial launch of its autonomous trucks,” a news release stated.

“In light of the headwinds facing the logistics industry — ranging from increasing demand for the quick transportation of shipments to a challenging labor market — the Aurora Driver, when integrated into existing linehaul operations, has potential to provide a reliable, efficient linehaul solution to help address such industry concerns.”

Rebecca Yeung, corporate vice president of operations science and advanced technology at FedEx, said that innovation is in the company’s DNA.

“Our culture drives us to think radically and differently, finding new ways to use technology to enhance safety, improve our operations, empower our team members and help our customers succeed,” she said.

“Aurora has been a like-minded collaborator, helping us learn from and grow our autonomous trucking solutions,” she continued. “We look forward to our continued work together as we test further integration of autonomous technology into our operations to build a collaborative, robust network of solutions to respond to growing customer demand.”

Sterling Anderson, Aurora co-founder and chief product officer, said that over the past six months of working with FedEx, Aurora has safely transported packages for tens of thousands of FedEx customers.

“This lane expansion came ahead of schedule and we’re delighted to continue building the future of trucking with one of the country’s biggest and most important transportation companies,” he said.

 

The Trucker News Staff

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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FedEx, Aurora expand autonomous trucking pilot in Texas ahead of schedule

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I hope they can start in Montana cause maybe I won’t get run off the road like I did last week by a FedEx driver.

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