On Wednesday, autonomous truck tech company Aurora announced an “industry-first” partnership with PACCAR and FedEx to conduct a commercial pilot program in Texas.

Aurora’s pilot program in partnership with FedEx is to begin this week. The company says that they will “regularly and autonomously” haul FedEx loads on a 500 mile trip between Dallas and Houston via the I-45 corridor.

The trucks will operate autonomously but a safety driver will be on board.

However, Aurora says that they plan to phase out the safety driver within the next two years.

At the end of 2023, we will launch our trucking business and haul loads autonomously between terminals without a safety driver,” Aurora said in a blog post.

Aurora previously partnered with PACCAR to build and bring autonomous trucks to market.

“With PACCAR’s Autonomous Vehicle Platform (AVP), we’re creating a deeply integrated self-driving truck with a manufacturer that delivers hundreds of thousands of Class 8 trucks a year. And now, through this pilot, we’re extending that partnership to a key customer, FedEx, to integrate those trucks into its massive network, which delivers billions of packages each year,” the blog post continued.

“FedEx was built on innovation, and we always anticipate what’s next to be future-ready,” said Rebecca Yeung, VP, Advanced Technology and Innovation, FedEx Corporation. “This is an exciting, industry-first collaboration that will work toward enhancing the logistics industry through safer, more efficient transportation of goods and we are pleased to collaborate with other industry leaders – Aurora and PACCAR – on this endeavor.”

Aurora was founded in 2017 and currently employs about 1600 workers.

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