In the race to bring autonomous vehicles to the masses, Pittsburgh-based company Aurora has emerged as a leader in self-driving technology. With a mission to make transportation safer, more reliable, and more accessible to everyone, Aurora is pushing the limits of what’s possible with autonomous vehicles.
Founded in 2017 by industry veterans Chris Urmson, Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell, Aurora has quickly garnered attention for its cutting-edge technology and strategic partnerships. The company is focused on developing a full-stack self-driving platform, which includes hardware, software and data services that can seamlessly integrate into cars, trucks and commercial fleets.
One of Aurora’s most ambitious projects is Horizon, the company’s first autonomous trucking service powered by the Aurora Driver. Scheduled to launch in 2024, Horizon promises to deliver a safe, efficient and cost-effective transportation solution for carriers and fleet owners. With its advanced software, high-precision sensors, and machine learning capabilities, Aurora believes that Horizon can revolutionize the transportation industry and drive the next wave of innovation.
TEQ wanted to learn more about the momentum driving Aurora and what it has in store for the coming year. We sat down with Gerardo Interiano, Vice President of Government Relations at Aurora to find out:
TEQ: Give us the elevator pitch for Aurora!
GI: Aurora is developing autonomous vehicle technology that is purpose-built to make our roads safer. Today’s road safety crisis is unacceptable and leads to over 40,000 deaths and millions of injuries per year in the United States. Aurora’s self-driving vehicles will never get tired or distracted – some of the biggest causes of accidents – and have a near 360 degree view of the road around them at all times. As we deploy both autonomous trucks and passenger vehicles, we are driven by the opportunity to save lives and make our roads safer for everyone.
TEQ: Tell us why Pittsburgh is your HQ and how it plays into your success to date.
GI: Aurora is Pittsburgh-built and Pittsburgh-based, and we’re proud to be an active member of the community. Since our founding in 2017, we’ve benefitted from the tremendous talent produced by top tier local universities, including Carnegie Mellon, and we’ve even partnered with Pittsburgh Technical College to develop an autonomous vehicle technician training program. With about 800 team members in the region, Pittsburgh is a core part of Aurora’s story.
TEQ: We’re stoked for 2024 when you release Horizon! Where will we see it deployed and tell us how it will transform the freight industry.
GI: We’re thrilled as well! We’re launching our autonomous trucking product late next year, and will be driverlessly hauling freight for customers between Dallas and Houston. From there, we look forward to expanding to additional routes throughout Texas and the Southwest – growing our service network and delivering value to businesses and consumers alike.
Autonomous trucking will have significant benefits not just for safety, but for the supply chain. Today, the United States suffers from a shortage of over 80,000 truck drivers and, by providing access to autonomous trucks, we can make freight movement more efficient and reliable. This will not only grow our economy, but will create new, good jobs to support this homegrown industry.
TEQ: Can you also tell us if Aurora is pursuing smaller, personal vehicles with Aurora Driver?
GI: We’re building the Aurora Driver with a common core of technology – meaning it can be deployed on just about any vehicle with four wheels! In addition to our autonomous trucks, we’re partnered with Uber and are testing on Toyota Sienna minivans. Everything our trucks learn benefits our passenger vehicles (and vise versa!), so we’re excited to follow our autonomous trucking launch with our ridehailing product.
TEQ: Once again, how excited are you for 2024!?!
GI: We couldn’t be more excited! And, don’t forget, we’re hiring! To learn more about our open roles and how Aurora is transforming the future of transportation, visit www.aurora.tech/careers