Aurora Technologies has entered into a strategic partnership with Paccar to develop and test autonomous vehicle systems in heavy-duty truck maker’s vehicles with the goal being commercialization of the new technology.
The two companies are very involved in the growth and development of self-driving and electrified trucks already with several partnerships with other companies already. This new partnership expands a connection the two companies already shared.
Aurora has installed its Aurora Driver self-driving technology on a variety of Paccar vehicles already for independent testing. This new deal will tighten the integration of resources between the two companies, including getting their engineering teams to work together to more quickly implement the technology.
“PACCAR looks forward to partnering with Aurora because of their industry-leading autonomous driving technology and impressive team,” said Preston Feight, Paccar chief executive officer. “This strategic partnership complements Paccar’s best-in-class commercial vehicle quality, technology and innovation,” he said.
Chris Urmson, Aurora co-founder and chief executive officer, said Aurora was excited to take this next step in its collaboration with Paccar.
“Working together, we’ve been impressed with Paccar’s product engineering, manufacturing capabilities, and commitment to enhancing its customers’ operational safety and efficiency. This partnership brings us one step closer to unlocking the autonomous freight market,” he added.
Aurora also has developed partnerships with Hyundai, Kia and Stellantis’ Fiat Chrysler family. Meanwhile Paccar has been working with Toyota and others on hydrogen fuel-cell powerplants.
While the company launched aiming to develop self-driving passenger vehicles, like their rivals at Waymo, Aurora
executives acknowledge the first commercial breakthrough in fully autonomous vehicles is likely to come in the commercial vehicle segment.
The initial goal of the partnership with Paccar is to improve freight efficiency and safety for Paccar’s customers. Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579 trucks utilizing the Aurora Driver are expected to be deployed in North America in the next several years.
The system under development will allow shippers and carriers to seamlessly integrate these trucks into their existing operations. Paccar said in a press release the partnership brings engineering teams together around an accelerated development program to create truly driverless-capable trucks.
It also fosters broader ties between the Paccar and Aurora organizations to create an expansive commercialization plan for the deployment of these trucks at scale in the next several years.
Aurora will provide the self-driving technology, including hardware, software and operational services.
Paccar, on the hand, will provides autonomous-enabled vehicles with industry-leading quality, durability and reliability resulting from decades of engineering excellence and manufacturing investments, as well as aftermarket parts distribution, finance and other transportation solutions, the company said in a statement.
The partnership also includes vehicle validation at the Paccar Technical Center and production support in Paccar factories.