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Monday, July 26, 2021

More Money Moving into Autonomous Trucking

Why?  More directly calculable ROI,  Less regulation. and more specific regulation. Less training of the users.  Leads towards simplification. 

Trucks Move Past Cars on the Road to Autonomy

By Wired, July 26, 2021, in CACM

The makers of self-driving trucks are focusing on comparatively simpler highway driving, and expect human drivers to handle local streets.

In 2016, three veterans of the still young autonomous vehicle industry formed Aurora, a startup focused on developing self-driving cars. Partnerships followed with major automakers, including Hyundai and Volkswagen. CEO Chris Urmson said at the time that the link-ups would help the company bring "mobility as a service" to urban areas—Uber-like rides without a human behind the wheel.

But by late 2019, Aurora's emphasis had shifted. It said self-driving trucks, not cars, would be quicker to hit public roads en masse. Its executives, who had steadfastly refused to provide a timeline for their self-driving-car software, now say trucks equipped with its "Aurora Driver" will hit the roads in 2023 or 2024, with ride-hail vehicles following a year or two later. This month, the company announced it would go public via a reverse merger, raising $2 billion in the process. "We have a team that really understands how hard this problem is," says Urmson.

The move points to a growing consensus in the industry: If self-driving vehicles are going to happen, trucks will likely arrive before cars.

From Wired 

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