Autonomous driving technology is developing rapidly, with much of the emphasis on cars and robots. But trucking companies and their customers also want autonomous driving technology. New partnership shows why and how.
Autonomous driving tech company Aurora joins truck maker
(ticker: PCAR) and the parcel transport giant
(FDX) to develop autonomous utility vehicles. This is the first collaboration of its kind, according to
Starting Wednesday, “Paccar’s autonomous trucks configured with the Aurora autonomous pilot will transport
loads between Dallas and Houston, a 500 mile round trip, along the I-45 corridor, ”a statement from Paccar read.
Autonomous trucks are hitting American roads, although the current operation qualifies as a pilot program.
“As leaders in our respective fields, we have critical and unique perspectives on how to develop and deploy safe, autonomous truck solutions for this industry,” said Sterling Anderson, Aurora Chief Product Officer, in a joint press release. “This collaboration allows the creation of a coherent and integrated product and service.
Aurora is a major player in autonomous driving technology, using a mix of lidar, radar and camera technologies and merging all data from sensors with its software. Investors can think of Aurora as a bit of a mini-Waymo that they can invest in right now. Waymo is the self-driving company controlled by Google’s parent company, Alphabet (GOOGL); he has a rideshare business that takes customers around Phoenix today.
In July, Aurora announced its intention to merge with a special purpose acquisition company
Reinventing Y technology partners
(ticker: RTPY). The combination will raise around $ 2 billion for the stand-alone business.
Once the merger is complete, the ticker symbol will change to “AUR” and there will be approximately 1.3 billion shares outstanding. This values Aurora at around $ 13 billion today.
Waymo has the advantage over Aurora when it comes to valuation. Waymo is worth around $ 31 billion in private markets. But Aurora has similar ambitions and technology. Later, Aurora wants to tap the VTC market by offering self-driving taxi rides to consumers. This is what Waymo is already doing in Arizona.
Aurora also shared footage of a Toyota Sienna intended for ridesharing apps. The company intends to be in the VTC market by 2024.
Aurora’s latest partnership with Paccar and FedEx, however, didn’t move the stock. Shares of Reinvent are up about 0.4% in Wednesday’s trading. The
Dow Jones Industrial Average
are up about 1.2% and 1.3%, respectively.
Reinvent’s stock has been essentially flat since the announcement of the merger in July. Investors believe, for now, that Aurora’s valuation is about right.
No analyst is covering the Reinvent stock yet, according to Bloomberg. This is typical of PSPC mergers – analysts typically resume coverage after mergers are complete. It’s in a few months, in the case of Aurora.
Write to Al Root at [email protected]