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The latest developments at Aurora, from our Q1 2023 Business Review

Recap | May 04, 2023 | 2 min. read

By the Aurora Team

Our Business Review call yesterday highlighted our recent achievements and further detailed the work that lies ahead in the latest iteration of our product roadmap.

Read on for the key takeaways.

Q2_br_roadmap-01Our product roadmap covers the key components of our business that we expect to be necessary to bring Aurora Horizon to market.

Features? Complete. 

With the release of Aurora Driver Beta 6.0 in March, we announced that the Aurora Driver is Feature Complete, meaning we have implemented all of the capabilities we believe are necessary for commercial operation of our Aurora Horizon autonomous trucking service on our Dallas to Houston launch lane and removed all policy interventions.

Beta icons

Next up: Aurora Driver Ready

For the rest of this year, we will be focused on achieving our Aurora Driver Ready milestone by validating our software, hardening our hardware, and closing the Aurora Driver Safety Case for our commercial launch lane. 

Building driverless hardware for scale

undefined-4To develop, manufacture, and service a commercially-scalable future generation of the Aurora Driver’s hardware kit, we‘ve entered a first-of-its-kind partnership with Continental, one of the world’s leading technology manufacturers and Tier 1 automotive suppliers.

This collaboration will allow us to industrialize our hardware kit and achieve commercial scale and the cost structure needed to broaden adoption of our commercial trucking service. 

Making the case for safety

As we approach our next big milestone, we will continue to be transparent about our progress by sharing our Autonomy Readiness Measure (ARM), which is a weighted measure of completeness across all claims under the Safety Case for our Dallas to Houston launch lane. ARM reflects the percentage of work we have to do to reach Aurora Driver Ready. As of March 31, 2023, our ARM is already at 44%, demonstrating our strong progress toward closing our Safety Case and achieving Aurora Driver Ready later this year. 

Coming soon: Commercial launch 

Our planned commercial launch is fast approaching, and in preparation, we’ve set ambitious goals for scaling our pilot operations. 

In Q1, we exceeded our target to autonomously haul 40 customer loads per week. Though we are less than halfway through the second quarter of 2023, we’ve already achieved our Q2 goal of hauling 50 loads per week. We log over 14,000 commercial miles each week while moving freight for leading carriers and shippers such as FedEx, Werner, Schneider, and Uber Freight. Cumulative through April 30, we have autonomously delivered (under the supervision of vehicle operators) 1,635 loads across more than 455,000 miles, with 98% on-time performance. 

1Q23 Business Update 1

Keeping it cool

Aurora-2023-Announce-Hirsch-01We recently announced a new commercial pilot with Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc., a leader in refrigerated trucking. Starting this week, Aurora Driver-powered tractors will begin hauling Hirschbach’s refrigerated trailers on the 400-mile round-trip journey between our Houston and South Dallas terminals. 

Autonomous trucks have the potential to dramatically expedite the shipping of time-sensitive freight like fruits, vegetables, and other perishable goods. We expect the hauling of refrigerated trailers to be one of many future growth enablers following the commercial launch of Aurora Horizon.

Readying commercial operations

To enable our customers to experience Aurora Horizon as it is designed to operate at launch, we practice operating our pilots under commercially-representative conditions. This allows us to refine our processes and work toward maximizing the value our self-driving technology can deliver to our customers' businesses. 

Last month we held our first Customer Summit in Dallas and engaged in deep discussions about our preparations for commercial launch. At the summit, we announced our Commercial Readiness Program, which will follow the achievement of our Aurora Driver Ready milestone, and which will give our pilot customers an opportunity to more deeply evaluate and assess the Aurora Driver’s performance as the final step to move forward with driverless operations. 

The road ahead

2023 is proving to be a pivotal year for Aurora. For more on the exciting progress we made over the last quarter, including the development of a new sensor cleaning system and an online sensor calibration system, the unveiling of our first commercial-ready terminal, and a first-of-its-kind pilot with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, read our Shareholder Letter. 

Read our Q1 2023 Shareholder Letter

Keep an eye out for more exciting news soon. 

the Aurora Team

Delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly.