Uber Freight and Aurora Innovation, an autonomous vehicle company, have announced the expansion of their autonomous pilot with a new commercial lane between Fort Worth and El Paso. The 600-mile lane across Texas launched in October and is supporting Uber Freight customers as they prepare for the 2022 holiday season.
As online shopping increasingly becomes the status quo around the holidays, so has the potential for delays, errors, higher pricing, and low product inventory. During peak season, it’s expected that approximately 1 billion packages will be shipped within the U.S. alone. To help Uber Freight customers meet demand, Aurora’s autonomous trucking service, Aurora Horizon, is making weekly hauls of consumer and wholesale goods across the state with its latest generation of trucks, based on PACCAR’s Peterbilt 579M.
Veritiv is a distributor of customized packaging solutions across North America. As an Uber Freight customer, Veritiv has benefited from early access to the route, using Aurora Horizon to autonomously transport goods on time to retail, education, and healthcare customers. The packages, which are hauled over 600 miles between Aurora’s terminals in Fort Worth and El Paso, complete their journey via human drivers who handle the first and final leg of customer deliveries across western Texas and New Mexico.
As Aurora works with additional carriers on the Uber Freight network, the company will incorporate learnings from this pilot into its subscription service dedicated for carriers and private fleets. Aurora and Uber Freight aim to unlock autonomous truck capacity for carriers with Aurora Horizon, which will be deployed in the coming years and serve carriers across the Uber Freight platform.