Aurora and Schneider National are beginning a multiphase commercial pilot to haul freight for Schneider’s customers with the Aurora Driver, Aurora’s autonomous technology.
The Aurora Driver will begin weekly autonomous hauls the first week of August between Dallas and Houston with Aurora vehicle operators on board. Load frequency is expected to increase as Schneider expands its relationship with Aurora.
Schneider hauls freight on over 9.3 million miles, creating an attractive value proposition for autonomous trucks that can haul freight around the clock, Schneider officials said in a press release.
“Understanding more about an autonomous future is the logical next step to build a network that continues to deliver the best service for our customers,” said Rob Reich, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Schneider.
Aurora officials say working with Schneider will be “instrumental” as the company makes progress toward delivering Aurora Horizon, its subscription-based autonomous trucking product. The pilot will strengthen and prepare Aurora Horizon in three areas ahead of its launch:
- Autonomy at scale – The Aurora Driver learns from every load it hauls autonomously. As the scale of these pilots increases, so does the Aurora Driver’s experience.
- Vehicle readiness – Weekly hauls allow Aurora to test the durability of its next-generation trucks, based on PACCAR’s Peterbilt 579M, for commercial operation and deployment.
- Premium service – Aurora’s fourth commercial pilot enables one of the industry’s largest carriers to play a crucial role in testing and validating Aurora’s product and service.
“Schneider has a reputation for delivering consistent and reliable service, evidenced by the sheer number of Fortune 500 customers. Preparing Aurora Horizon for prime-time with Schneider springloads our ability to deploy our product at scale in the years to come,” said Sterling Anderson, Aurora’s co-founder and chief product officer.