Driverless Tech CEO Tells Truckers: Prepare Now For ‘Transition’ to Self-Driving Trucks
San Francisco, CA — The CEO of driverless technology startup Aurora Innovations issued a message to truckers this week urging them to prepare now for a “transition” to self-driving trucks.
In a blog post celebrating his company’s recently completed $1.8 billion business combination with Reinvent Technology Partners Y, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), Aurora CEO Chris Urmson said truckers should begin preparing now for a “transition to various new positions” needed to “support fleets of self-driving trucks in the U.S. and abroad.”
The tech startup, now trading under the ticker symbols NASDAQ: AUR and NASDAQ: AUROW, plans to launch its autonomous commercial trucking business, Aurora Horizon, in late 2023, followed by its driverless ride-hailing business, Aurora Connect, in 2024.
Aurora’s Driver-as-a-Service business model will offer fleet owners the ability to purchase vehicles powered by its flagship driverless tech product called the “Aurora Driver.”
“Carriers and private fleets will be able to move goods 24/7,” Urmson declared. “By operating at all hours, the Aurora Driver will provide our customers with a reliable and stable supply of ‘drivers’ that can quickly adapt to rapid changes in demand.”
The first models expected to hit the market will be the Volvo VNL, Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579
Aurora Driver-equipped semi-trucks are currently being deployed by FedEx (monitored by a “safety driver”) throughout Texas.
Despite the fact Urmson expects to begin replacing the need for human drivers in 2023, especially those who navigate “middle mile routes” between transfer hubs or terminals, he maintained the coming changes will actually be a benefit for truckers.
“Truck drivers will have better career opportunities and healthier lifestyles, spending more of their time driving local routes,” he confidently stated.
Urmson claims it’s not only truckers who will be better off when self-driving trucks are widely deployed, but “our roads will be safer” for all drivers and pedestrians too.
“In our path to broadly deploying our autonomous vehicles, we will continue to work to earn the public’s trust through continued transparency on the capabilities and benefits of our technology,” he wrote.
WATCH a video detailing the business case for Aurora’s technology products below.