PACCAR announces industry-first driverless vehicle pilot

In an industry first, PACCAR in the US has teamed up with autonomous driving technology company Aurora, and FedEX, to launch a commercial pilot of driverless trucks in linehaul trucking operations.

This is the first collaboration of its kind between a truck manufacturer, an autonomous technology developer and a logistics provider.

PACCAR’s autonomously enabled trucks configured with the Aurora autonomous driver have now begun hauling FedEx loads between Dallas and Houston, a 500-mile round trip.

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.

“As leaders in our respective fields, we have critical and unique perspectives on how to develop and deploy safe, self-driving truck solutions for this industry,” added Sterling Anderson, Aurora chief product officer.

“This collaboration allows for the creation of a cohesive and integrated product and service. We believe there is no other credible way to deliver this complex and valuable technology at scale.

FedEx Corporation vice president, advanced technology and innovation, Rebecca Yeung, added, “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 endeavour.”

In January 2021, PACCAR announced a strategic alliance with Aurora to develop, test and commercialise autonomous Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks.

The strategic alliance will integrate PACCAR’s 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,” added Rich.

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