- Aurora’s autonomous trucking technology has reached another milestone as it advances toward a commercial launch: being able to respond to emergency vehicles.
- The company announced Dec. 19 that it released the latest version of its integrated hardware and autonomy system, Aurora Driver Beta 5.0, to its autonomous trucking fleet in Texas.
- The new version’s capabilities include detecting and responding to emergency vehicles like ambulances, fire engines and law enforcement vehicles; safely reentering traffic from the shoulder; and navigating lanes with temporary barriers.
The tech company has unveiled a series of beta releases this year, showing increasing complexity as the business moves toward a commercial launch.
Features have included responding to construction zone signage and workers, pulling over to a shoulder, and circumventing road debris, the company noted.
“We are already demonstrating the value an autonomous trucking product can bring to our pilot customers as we continue to deliver loads across Texas each day,” Chris Urmson, Aurora co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Aurora isn’t the only company making these types of advancements. In August, Embark Trucks announced that its autonomous trucking tech has the ability interact with emergency vehicles, such as responding to a traffic stop.
“Law enforcement always needs to be able to stop a commercial vehicle — autonomous or not — to ensure compliance with the law.” Emily Warren, head of public policy at Embark Trucks, said in the release.
With the Aurora pilot, carriers are testing out the technology, and weekly hauls feature customers such as FedEx, Schneider National, Werner Enterprises and Uber Freight. The company plans to launch its first commercial product at the end of 2024.