Self-driving startup Aurora lays out a business strategy

Texas News Today

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

September 30, 2021

tina beron

PALMER, Texas (Reuters) – Self-driving startup Aurora says it has found a way to turn expensive self-driving cars into a profitable business and expects to offer about $2 billion this week. Before listing, we will introduce the technology to investors. additional funds.

The move prepares several autonomous truck companies to launch unmanned routes in the next few years and begin contracts with industry partners and customers to turn the long and elusive autonomous driving into a profitable reality. This is what happens when you’re done.

Unlike some competitors, Aurora seeks to offer both autonomous freight and robotic taxi services, a combination that lowers costs, increases revenue streams and enables technology transfer. It says that will happen.

In an interview, Aurora co-founder and chief product officer Sterling Anderson said, “Tracking is a profitable and scalable business that will drive further development of ride hailing and reduce hardware costs. Spoke in the terminal. There, investors, analysts and journalists boarded an autonomous highway truck with two security drivers.

Self-driving car (AV) companies have garnered billions of dollars in development by investors, but haven’t made a lot of money yet.

Trucking has emerged as the most direct opportunity for AV commercialization due to the growth of e-commerce and the lack of drivers.

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

Truck Cost Diagram:

Graphics: Drivers and fuel make up the majority of trucking costs:

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

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

According to Sterling, the ridewheel business will initially focus on high-margin airport and business district travel that doesn’t require robo taxis to navigate complex urban environments.

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

The ability to build partnerships is key, Sterling said. Aurora has partnered with truck maker PACCAR, Volvo Group, Toyota Motor Corp and ride hail company Uber Technologies Inc. partnered with.

(Reporting by Tina Bellone, Palmer, Texas, edited by Matthew Lewis)


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