Aurora, the autonomous vehicle company owned by Google's former lead engineer, announced that its autonomous trucks and taxis would soon be available to its customers through paid subscriptions.
Aurora's Self-Driving Car to be Available Soon
Aurora does not expect to release its self-driving trucks and taxis until 2023, but the company is giving more details about how it plans to put them into operation for its customers, according to The Verge.
Aurora's service will be named "Aurora Horizon." The company stated that it would give trucking carriers and private companies a reliable and scalable driver supply powered by the Aurora Driver.
The Aurora Driver is the name that the company uses to describe the parts that enable a vehicle to self-drive.
The ride-hailing service offered by the company, called "Aurora Connect," will allow vehicles equipped with Aurora Driver to integrate ride-hailing network software so it can be used as a taxi.
The customers of the company won't be truckers or ride-hailing passengers. Rather, the customers will be logistics firms and companies that operate vehicle fleets that are then hired by individuals.
One of the companies that will team up with Aurora is Uber, and the company will provide the ride-hailing firm a fleet of autonomous taxis.
Aurora is seeking to distinguish itself from other autonomous vehicle companies, which are seeking to be both fleet operators and technology providers.
Aurora's decision to make its autonomous vehicles available through subscription is not unheard of. The company stated that subscribers to its services would have access to the Aurora Driver, to the company's mission control system called Aurora Beacon, and to Aurora Shield, its roadside assistance program. They also have access to extended support.
The company did not reveal the price of the subscription yet, according to Reuters.
Aurora announced earlier this month that it had found a way to turn expensive self-driving cars into a profitable business, revealing its technology to investors ahead of a public listing as it tried to gather $2 billion in funding.
The move comes as several autonomous companies announced they would launch their own driverless routes in the next few years.
The autonomous vehicle companies have signed up partners and clients in order to turn the industry into a profitable reality.
Unlike its competitors, Aurora seeks to give both trucking and taxi services autonomous freight, saying that the combination will lower the costs and provide better revenue streams. It will also allow technology transfer, according to Business Wire.
Sterling Anderson, Aurora's co-founder, said that trucking allows them to create a profitable business that funds the development of their services and reduces hardware costs.
Autonomous vehicle companies have yet to see revenue, especially since their investors have given billions in their development in the past few years.
Trucking is an opportunity for commercialized autonomous vehicles to thrive because of the growth in e-commerce and the shortage of drivers.
Drivers account for more than 40% of the cost per mile and can't drive more than 11 hours per day. These are the restrictions that do not apply to AV trucks.
Aurora, which plans to merge with blank-check firm Reinvent Technology Partners, forecasts to break even in 2027. The company declined to reveal when they expect to turn a net profit.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Sophie Webster