- Aurora Innovation opened a commercial-ready terminal for its autonomous trucks in Houston, enabling the company to further roll out its driverless operations, it announced Wednesday.
- The facility and a counterpart terminal in Palmer, Texas, near Dallas, that opened in April will allow the AV trucking tech firm to debut a driverless, commercial shipping lane on Interstate 45 between the two cities in late 2024, it said. Aurora already hauls loads for FedEx, Schneider National and Uber Freight under a pilot program.
- The facilities operate around the clock, supporting more than 75 commercial loads per week. On-site weigh stations for pre-trip inspections mean driverless trucks can bypass inspection sites, maximizing driving time.
Introducing Aurora’s commercial-ready terminal to support its planned driverless truck lane between Dallas and Houston.— Aurora (@aurora_inno) November 1, 2023
The new Houston terminal is designed to optimize the time autonomous trucks spend on the road hauling freight, leading to increased safety and more efficient… pic.twitter.com/Nio1UCf2kH
The Houston terminal is the next step in Aurora’s plan, but the company’s vision for how freight will move in the future is already being demonstrated on Texas roads daily.
In the pilot program, its autonomous trucks are logging more than 20,000 commercial miles per week, Aurora said in a shareholder letter Wednesday. Through Oct. 29, its trucks delivered 3,200 loads for pilot program participants with an on-time rate of nearly 100%, according to the letter.
Aurora managed to reduce its spending as it prepared to open the facility.
The company lowered expenses that had caused its net loss to balloon to $1.7 billion in 2022 from $755 million in 2021 and $214 million in 2020. Operating expenses, including stock-based compensation, totaled $212 million in Q3, CFO David Maday said on an earnings call.
The company’s net loss totaled $604 million for the nine months ending Sept. 30, down from $1.4 billion, year-over-year, according to an earnings filing.
The company said previously it expected losses to grow until it launched commercial operations.
“It's really important for us to be wise and make sure that we know how to use, and have the right financial discipline,” Maday said on the earnings call. “And we're really finding a lot of opportunities to ... do things smarter without jeopardizing any of our progress.”