Autonomous startup Aurora formulates a business strategy


A Peterbilt 579 truck equipped with Aurora’s autonomous driving system will be seen on September 23, 2021 at its terminal in Palmer, south of Dallas, Texas, U.S. Reuters / Tina Beron

September 30, 2021

Tina Beron

Palmer, Texas (Reuters) – Autonomous startup Aurora said it has found a way to turn expensive self-driving cars into a profitable business and expects to offer around $ 2 billion this week. Prior to registration, we will introduce the technology to investors. Additional funds.

The move prepares several autonomous truck companies to launch unmanned routes over the next few years and to enter into contracts with industry partners and customers to turn long and elusive autonomous driving into a profitable reality. It happens when you do.

Unlike some competitors, Aurora is keen to offer both autonomous freight and robotic taxi services, a combination that lowers costs, increases revenue streams and enables technology transfer. He says it will be.

In an interview, Aurora Co-Founder and Product Manager Sterling Anderson said, “Tracking is a profitable and scalable business that will fund further development of Helpline and reduce hardware costs. Can be built. He spoke to the company’s South Dallas Truck Terminal. There, investors, analysts and journalists boarded one of the self-driving road trucks with two security drivers.

Self-driving car (AV) companies have invested billions of dollars in development by investors, but have yet to make much money.

Trucking has become the most direct opportunity to market AV, driven by the growth of e-commerce and a shortage of drivers.

Currently, drivers account for over 40% of the cost per mile and can only drive within 11 hours per day. This is a limitation that does not apply to automatic tracks.

Truck Cost Diagram: https: //

Graphics: Drivers and fuel account for the majority of trucking costs:

Aurora, which will be released this year with a proforma market cap of $ 13 billion due to a merger with blank check firm Reinvent Technology Partners Y, is expected to break even in 2027, but Sterling says how much the company is. Get a net profit quickly.

A fully autonomous truck will be launched at the end of 2023, and a robot taxi will be launched a year later.

According to Sterling, the Ridehail business will initially focus on high-margin travel to airports and business districts that don’t require a robotic taxi to navigate complex city environments.

However, the four-year-old Bay Area company faces stiff competition from well-funded start-ups such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo, Argo backed by Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG, and Cruise majority owned by General Motors Co. Make. Facing competition from Chinese startup TuSimple, which was unveiled in April.

The ability to form partnerships is essential, Sterling said. Aurora has partnered with truck makers PACCAR, Volvo Group, Toyota Motor Corp and hail haulage company Uber Technologies Inc.

(Report by Tina Bellon, Palmer, Texas, edited by Matthew Lewis)


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