PACCAR to Soon Deliver “Truly Driverless” Peterbilt 579s and Kenworth T680s
San Francisco, CA – PACCAR Inc. is partnering with California self-driving tech startup Aurora to deliver two Class 8 truck models to market.
On Tuesday, Aurora announced it has entered into a global strategic partnership with PACCAR to develop what it describes as “truly driverless-capable trucks.”
“This partnership combines PACCAR’s considerable expertise in heavy-duty truck development, manufacturing, and sales with our deep understanding of autonomous vehicle technology to bring a safe, efficient self-driving product to market quickly and deploy it broadly,” Aurora said in a blog post on its website.
The first two models slated for delivery will be the Peterbilt 579 and the Kenworth T680.
We’re excited to share that we’ve reached a significant milestone in delivering our first product, a driverless truck. We’re partnering with PACCAR to collaborate on and bring a safe self-driving product to market quickly and deploy it broadly: https://t.co/OtJ65SlXg2 pic.twitter.com/jd10TBbdtn
— Aurora (@aurora_inno) January 19, 2021
The self-driving tech company says it has an “expansive commercialization plan for the deployment of these trucks at scale over the next several years.”
Aurora calls its self-driving technology platform the “Aurora Driver.”
The autonomous startup is founded by Chris Urmson, who is the former lead engineer for Google’s self-driving project, now called Waymo.
Aurora has been testing its Aurora Driver-equipped PACCAR semi-trucks, along with a fleet of Chrysler Pacifica mini-vans, in the Dallas-Forth Worth area since last summer.
“It’s an exciting time for Aurora, for PACCAR, and for the industry, and we look forward to sharing the continued progress we’ll make together as we deliver the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly,” the company said.
Aurora is backed by some of corporate America’s biggest players and has raised over $700 million in funding.
Most notably, Amazon led a funding round with an undisclosed investment in February of 2019.
“Autonomous technology has the potential to help make the jobs of our employees and partners safer and more productive, whether it’s in a fulfillment center or on the road, and we’re excited about the possibilities,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement at the time.
Aurora raked in over a half billion dollars in that round, according to reports.
The company now has offices in Palo Alto, CA; San Francisco, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Dallas, TX; and Bozeman, MT.
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