A major challenge for the freight industry is addressing underutilization and inefficient load procurement. Aurora Innovation Inc. and Uber Freight LLC today announced a multiphase commercial pilot to move freight in Texas and to explore integrating access to Uber Freight’s network within the Aurora Horizon trucking product suite. The companies said their combined offerings will enable carriers to maximize fleet usage, broaden opportunities to haul goods, and streamline supply chain operations.
“The integration of Aurora Horizon into a digital marketplace like Uber Freight enhances its value to carriers by providing them with additional tools to increase asset utilization,” said Aurora. “It also gives shippers access to a larger pool of carriers to haul local route legs. Ultimately, these opportunities result in a more streamlined, efficient, and flexible freight logistics network—one that is necessary to help alleviate the strain we’re experiencing across supply chains today.”
Founded in 2017, Aurora has worked with PACCAR, FedEx, and Volvo on autonomous trucks. It acquired Uber's Advanced Technology Group in December 2020.
In July, the Pittsburgh-based company announced its plan to merge with special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Reinvent Technology Partners Y for $1 billion and be publicly traded. It released a beta version of its Aurora Driver autonomy platform in October.
San Francisco-based Uber Freight said it is a logistics broker “that connects shippers with one of the world's largest digitally-enabled carrier networks.” It is a unit of Uber Technologies Inc., which has operations in more than 900 metropolitan areas worldwide.
Aurora begins operations with safety drivers in Texas
“Last week, Aurora-powered trucks with vehicle operators onboard began autonomously hauling drop-and-hook loads between terminals in Dallas and Houston, transferring the loads to Uber Freight carriers to handle the first and final mile,” said Aurora. “By leveraging Uber Freight’s technology, we were able to perform a seamless hand-off between Uber Freight’s local carriers and our vehicle operators at the terminal, paving the way for a hybrid future with local carriers and Aurora-powered trucks.”
Aurora said it plan to expand its routes, coverage, and terminals, as well as integrate Aurora Horizon and its Aurora Beacon cloud-based infrastructure with Uber Freight's digital network.
“This way, when we launch our commercial business, carriers using Aurora Horizon may have the option to leverage Uber Freight's platform to haul freight for shippers between terminals, allowing them to utilize their drivers and existing assets at full capacity,” said the company.
Since autonomous trucks can run 24/7, needing to stop only to refuel, they can improve carrier efficiency, especially when combined with Uber Freight's network, claimed Aurora.
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