Aurora Innovation has frozen the design for autonomous hardware that Continental will build at scale for thousands of driverless trucks.

Separately, Aurora plans a commercial launch of a few driverless trucks on a Houston-to-Dallas route later this year.

Bringing new automotive-grade hardware to market can take years from initial design to end user. Aurora established a long-term partnership with Tier 1 supplier Continental in April 2023. The German supplier is building, validating and taking costs out of Aurora Driver hardware for Volvo and Paccar trucks.

Aurora’s path to profitability

Finalizing the hardware architecture, specs and requirements is a big deal because it is foundational for eventually making Aurora profitable.

“From day one, we knew we’d need to build a strong ecosystem of partners to bring this technology to market safely and at a commercial scale,” said Chris Urmson, Aurora co-founder and CEO. “Finalizing the design of our future hardware is a meaningful step toward making the unit economics of the Aurora Driver compelling and building a business for the long term.”

German auto supplier Continental will build automotive-grade autonomous hardware for Aurora Innovation. (Photo: Aurora Innovation)

Aurora Driver emergency fallback upgrade also in the works

Aurora is also working with Continental’s engineers on an updated industrialized fallback system. That is a specialized secondary computer that can take over operation if a failure occurs in the primary system. It is expected to go into production in 2027.

Continental is investing more than $300 million. It will ship the Aurora Driver hardware to Volvo Truck and Paccar Inc. plants. Continental will build initial versions of the hardware for testing at its new facility in New Braunfels, Texas. Other global manufacturing sites also will build the hardware.

“Being the industry’s only Tier 1 supplier with a commitment to industrialize autonomous hardware at scale allows us to be at the forefront of and capitalize on this groundbreaking technology,” said Philipp von Hirschheydt, Continental executive board member for the Automotive Group sector.

Editor’s Note: This story also appeared in the Jan. 5 Truck Tech newsletter.

The post Aurora freezes designs for autonomous hardware scaling appeared first on FreightWaves.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply