MEMPHIS — FedEx Corp. has begun a collaboration with Aurora – an autonomous technology developer – and PACCAR manufacturing to test Aurora’s autonomous driving technology in PACCAR Vehicle Platform (AVP) equipped trucks.
The test runs will be made along Interstate 45 between Dallas and Houston, according to a FedEx news release.
“As a first of its kind agreement, the three industry leaders will work together to accelerate the development and scaled deployment of autonomous driving technology in a safe and thoughtful way,” the news release said.
“This commercial application of Aurora’s driver technology is the latest addition to the FedEx portfolio of autonomous and robotics solutions, as the company continues to experience record delivery volumes.”
FedEx officials said that the “exponential growth of e-commerce has accelerated the demand for reliable, efficient transportation and logistics solutions throughout all stages of the supply chain. FedEx believes that continued innovation and automation will improve safety, efficiency, and productivity for the company’s more than 560,000 team members as they continue to move the world forward.”
Rebecca Yeung, vice president for advanced technology and innovation for FedEx, called the collaboration “an exciting, industry first … that will work toward enhancing the logistics industry through safer, more efficient transportation of goods.”
Sterling Anderson, chief product officer at Aurora, said the collaboration will allow all involved to create “a cohesive and integrated product and service.”
“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,” Anderson said. We believe there is no other credible way to deliver this complex and valuable technology at scale.”
The 500-mile round trip will run multiple times each week. The trucks will operate autonomously, with a backup driver for additional safety.