Aurora Innovation, Inc. announced it has opened the industry’s first lane for driverless trucks supported by commercial-ready terminals in Dallas and Houston. Nearly half of all truck freight in Texas moves along the I-45 between Dallas and Houston, making this corridor an ideal route for Aurora’s commercial launch. Similar to its first terminal in South Dallas, Aurora’s new terminal in Houston is designed to support and service driverless trucks at a commercial scale.
Commercial-Ready Terminals Designed for Seamless Customer Experience
Aurora uses terminals to house, maintain, prepare, inspect, and deploy autonomous trucks between destinations. The company has developed an innovative terminal blueprint to implement a layout and list of features that make its terminals commercial-ready for the launch of driverless operations.
Aurora’s terminal blueprint is designed to maximize the time autonomous trucks are on the road hauling freight. For example, on-site weigh stations support enhanced pre-trip inspections, which ensure Aurora’s trucks are compliant with regulatory standards while allowing them to bypass inspection sites on the road. This promotes safe operations and results in a more efficient trip with fewer stops.
Aurora picks its terminal locations with its customers in mind. Aurora’s Houston terminal is located in a logistics hub near its pilot customers, including FedEx and others. This proximity to customers makes it easy to seamlessly integrate autonomous trucks into their middle-mile operations.
Preparing for Commercial Driverless Operations
The ability to service and support driverless trucks 24/7/365 is critical to launching a valuable product that can handle dynamic demand. Today, Aurora’s terminals operate day and night, supporting their trucks as they haul more than 75 loads a week for pilot customers.
Aurora is also preparing its Command Center to support around-the-clock commercial operations. Aurora’s Command Center includes a team of remote specialists who monitor and provide guidance to the active fleet of Aurora-powered trucks, and dispatchers who allocate trucks, trailers, and vehicle operators to missions. Aurora’s Command Center already supports commercial pilot hauls and is prepared to support driverless missions.