Volvo Partners With Self-Driving Tech Startup to Bring Autonomous Trucks to Market
Palo Alto, CA – Volvo Group is partnering with self-driving technology startup Aurora to bring autonomous big rigs to market.
In an announcement on Tuesday, Aurora said it has entered into an agreement with the Volvo Group’s driverless business unit called Volvo Autonomous Solutions to “commercialize L4 Class 8 trucks in North America.”
“Our first commercial truck with Volvo will be adapted to the requirements of the Aurora Driver, and tailored to the demands of an autonomous hub-to-hub use case,” said Sterling Anderson, Aurora’s co-founder and chief product officer. “These trucks will combine the best of Volvo’s technology with the Aurora Driver, which uniquely has the ability to detect and track objects well beyond 300 meters, into a compelling and scalable logistics platform.”
The two companies have been working with one another since early 2018.
Later that same year the companies successfully built their first Aurora-powered Volvo truck nicknamed Pistachio.
According to Anderson, Aurora will develop an autonomous offering through Volvo’s Transport-as-a-Service to support a hub-to-hub service.
“In this model, our trucks will operate autonomously on highways between hubs for Volvo customers, and services will range from transport logistics to operational support, servicing and maintenance, cloud support (for dispatching and routing), and more,” he stated.
In January of this year, Aurora announced it had entered into a global strategic partnership with PACCAR to develop what it described as “truly driverless-capable trucks.”
The first two models slated for delivery will be the Peterbilt 579 and the Kenworth T680.
The autonomous startup is co-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.
The company is backed by some of corporate America’s biggest players including Amazon and now has offices in Palo Alto, CA; San Francisco, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Dallas, TX; and Bozeman, MT.