Autonomous vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation is launching a small test fleet of specially designed self-driving Toyota Sienna vehicles for future journeys. A spokesperson for Aurora said the company will be testing its vehicles on highways and commuter roads in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area, with a focus on high-speed routes.
The hybrid-electric Toyota will be equipped with the same software and hardware as the Aurora Class 8 truck that the company is testing for freight transport. Like Waymo, Aurora wants to prove it’s “Main competitive advantages:”, namely the “portability” of its common core technology in two important markets: freight transport and passenger mobility.
The opening of the test fleet is coming Six months after Aurora announced its first prototype the same machine that was tested in Pittsburgh, Dallas and the Bay Area, and a year later Aurora is the first to announce its intention to become a Toyota partner Integrate Aurora Driver with unmanned vehicles designed to operate AXI robots.
Aurora previously planned to release its Aurora Connect product by the end of 2024, which is a driver-as-a-service service that will be available through existing taxi calling apps exclusively from Uber.
in 2020, Aurora buys Uber self-driving car and has maintained a relationship with the company ever since. For example, Aurora self-driving trucks transport goods for Uber Freight. clients in Texas as part of a multi-stage commercial pilot project that will bring the companies closer together.
A spokesperson for Aurora told gaming-updates, “We are currently using Uber’s detailed market data to inform and accelerate our commercialization plan to roll out Aurora Connect widely in partnership with Toyota and Uber.” “To enter the taxi market, we designed Aurora Connect to integrate with our existing taxi network, creating a hybrid model of autonomous vehicles and human drivers that will help the network meet growing demand. . I
Once the Aurora Connect goes on sale, the passenger requesting a ride will either be picked up by an Aurora-powered vehicle or a human driver, depending on the route.
While Aurora appears to have a clear path to commercialization, others in the robotics industry are already digging into the road space. Motivational, for example recentlyMaintenance on demand and transit through . launched a free robotic taxi service in Las Vegas withand he’s getting ready Backlash. Start professional service with next year in the same city, and it is obvious that cruise As well as WaymoBoth have launched robotic taxi services under their own brands in San Francisco, San Francisco, and Phoenix, respectively.
In recent months, Aurora has been testing its self-driving trucks on the Texas highway: Large companies such as FedExI started Recently became a SPAC, says Texas will also be the first state where Aurora plans to bring the Aurora Connect to the streets.
“Texas is home to several major U.S. highways and important routes for moving goods around the country, and many of our customers and potential customers operate here,” the spokesman said. “Texas also gives us the opportunity to design and test routes that we will prioritize when we launch Aurora Connect, such as airport travel.”
Built on the “Sienna Autono-Mass” (S-AM) platform, Toyota’s self-driving vehicles can reach speeds of up to 120 km/h and rely on FirstLight’s patented lidar for safe driving at high speeds.
The Aurora test fleet will consist of two vehicle operators, one at the wheel to monitor the behavior of the Aurora driver and one in the passenger seat to monitor and take notes to be sent to the engineering team. Equipped with the Aurora AV stack, the Sienna can already handle Texas U-turns, high-speed inserts and lane changes, including stopping on ledges and avoiding slow moving vehicles.
The driver also responds to various types of construction work, traffic jams and inclement weather.
The fleet is small at the moment, perhaps less than ten vehicles, but Aurora says it will add additional vehicles to its fleet in the coming months and expand testing to handle more scenarios and routes and move into denser urban areas. ,