Aurora adds new trailer type to its operations, now autonomously hauling perishable goods between Dallas and Houston
Today, Aurora Innovation, Inc. (NASDAQ: AUR), and Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc., a leader in refrigerated trucking, announced they began a commercial pilot this week to test and safely deploy autonomous trucking for refrigerated cargo between Dallas and Houston. Aurora’s ability to support critical, time-sensitive refrigerated goods expands the network of carriers and shippers who can benefit from the advantages of its autonomous trucking service, Aurora Horizon.
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Aurora Driver-equipped tractors with Hirschbach refrigerated trailers (Photo: Business Wire)
“Since joining Aurora’s Industry Advisory Council, I have had a front row seat to the positive impact of autonomous technology,” said Richard Stocking, co-CEO of Hirschbach. “Autonomous trucks will provide safe and reliable capacity to supplement our existing network of incredible company drivers. We will identify opportunities that will expand autonomous capabilities across Hirschbach’s network that will hopefully supplement our drivers from monotonous stretches of highway and allow them to spend more time with their families.”
“This new pilot, on the Peterbilt 579 upfit with the Aurora Driver, demonstrates the increasing maturity of our operations as we expand our product support to a wider number of carriers and shippers,” said David Maday, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Product Strategy at Aurora. “We are extremely excited that Hirschbach has the confidence in Aurora’s technology and our ability to deliver perishable goods safely and on time.”
Autonomously delivering perishable goods and preventing spoilage requires mature operations and sophisticated technology. Aurora’s new, next-generation trucking terminal in Dallas is designed to support these advanced commercial driverless operations to maximize efficiency for a variety of customers, including refrigerated trailers. Aurora Driver-equipped tractors with Hirschbach refrigerated trailers started to make the 400-mile round-trip along the I-45 corridor between Aurora’s Houston and South Dallas terminals this week.
Refrigerated autonomous trucks capable of operating at nearly all hours of the day have the potential to move goods in record time, increase the shelf life of fresh produce, drive down the costs of goods for consumers and ultimately lead to fresher food and less waste. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 30-40 percent of nationwide food supply results in the spoilage of perishable goods, which occurs, among other ways, at various stages of the production and supply chain.
Aurora recently announced the Aurora Driver is Feature Complete and has entered its final phase of refinement and validation ahead of commercial launch in 2024. By the end of the year, Aurora expects to close the Aurora Driver Safety Case for driverless operations on its launch lane between Dallas and Houston. In parallel, the company will continue to mature its operations as pilot load volume is expected to increase to 100 loads per week by the end of 2023.
Aurora (Nasdaq: AUR) is delivering the benefits of self-driving technology safely, quickly, and broadly to make transportation safer, increasingly accessible, and more reliable and efficient than ever before. The Aurora Driver is a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, from freight-hauling trucks to ride-hailing passenger vehicles, and underpins Aurora Horizon and Aurora Connect, its driver-as-a-service products for trucking and ride-hailing. Aurora is working with industry leaders across the transportation ecosystem, including Toyota, FedEx, Volvo Trucks, PACCAR, Uber, Uber Freight, U.S. Xpress, Werner, Covenant, Schneider, and Ryder. For Aurora’s latest news, visit aurora.tech and @aurora_inno on Twitter.
About Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc.
Founded in 1935, Hirschbach Motor Lines, Inc. is an industry-leading truckload carrier delivering state-of-the-art transportation solutions for more than 85 years. Hirschbach, along with its recent acquisition of John Christner Trucking, LLC offers experienced, refrigerated truckload services to all 48 states along with dedicated transportation solutions and innovative brokerage, local, on-site and specialized services. With a fleet of 3000+ trucks, 5,500+ trailers, and multiple terminal locations, Hirschbach and John Christner Trucking continue to grow and expand into new service areas. For more information, visit www.hirschbach.com and www.johnchristner.com.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This Press Release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including but not limited to those statements around Aurora’s operations and the development, commercialization or market impact of Aurora’s products. These statements are based on management’s current assumptions and are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. For factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release, please see the risks and uncertainties identified under the heading “Risk Factors” section of Aurora Innovation, Inc.’s (“Aurora”) Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, filed with the SEC on February 21, 2023, and other documents filed by Aurora from time to time with the SEC, which are accessible on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements reflect our beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. Aurora undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.