FedEx to test Driverless Big Rig Trucks

This month, autonomous vehicle company Aurora announced that it has partnered with FedEx to begin testing driverless big rigs along I-45 between Dallas and Houston. Nearly all of the decision-making and driving will be left up to Aurora’s software systems and location-sensing hardware, although a safety driver will be upfront in the rigs until at least 2023.

FedEx is not the only company that is testing or has tested driverless vehicles in Texas. Nuro, an autonomous delivery company has tested its service and sent Toyota Priuses with large camera installations across Texas to map roads and test its delivery software. Their vehicles have two employees inside the cars for safety reasons. On-demand autonomous SUVs that travel on set routes at 35 mph have also been launched. Waymo, another autonomous company has launched a pilot program for trucks to deliver goods between Houston and Fort Worth. Currently, Aurora’s trucks will ship goods between large cities, but will not yet experiment with deliveries directly to stores and doorsteps. The trucks will pick uploads at a delivery facility located on the outskirts of Dallas and drop them off at a FedEx facility in Houston, which will avoid the more congested areas of the freeway.

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