PACCAR has announced a commercial pilot of autonomous trucks, the first collaboration of its kind between a truck manufacturer, an autonomous technology developer and a logistics provider.
The truckmaker has teamed up with Aurora, a leading autonomous driving technology company, and FedEx, one of the largest transportation and logistics companies in the world on a linehaul project starting today in Texas.
Kenworth and Peterbilt commercial vehicles configured with the Aurora autonomous Driver will haul FedEx loads between Dallas and Houston, a round trip of around 800 kms, along the I-45 corridor.
The trucks will operate autonomously, with a backup driver for additional safety. “PACCAR is pleased to partner with industry leaders FedEx and Aurora on this innovative project,” said John Rich, PACCAR Chief Technology Officer.
It follows an announcement made in January earlier this year in which PACCAR announced a strategic alliance with Aurora to develop, test and commercialise autonomous Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.
The strategic alliance will integrate what PACCAR claims as being its state-of-the-art autonomous vehicle platform with the Aurora Driver to enhance the safety and operational efficiency of PACCAR’s customers.
“This new commercial pilot collaboration demonstrates the excellent progress that PACCAR and Aurora are making in our strategic alliance,” said Rich.
The two companies, according to Sterling Anderson, Aurora Chief Product Officer, are leaders in their respective fields and as such possess critical and unique perspectives on how to develop and deploy safe, self-driving truck solutions for the road freight industry.
“This collaboration allows for the creation of a cohesive and integrated product and service,” Anderson said. “We believe there is no other credible way to deliver this complex and valuable technology at scale.”
In the joint statement FedEx Corporation Vice President Rebecca Yeung said FedEx is always anticipating what is next to be future-ready as a company built upon innovation.
“This is an exciting, industry-first collaboration that will work towards enhancing the logistics industry through safer, more efficient transportation of goods and we are pleased to collaborate with other industry leaders — Aurora and PACCAR — on this endeavor,” she said.