Plans to develop PACCAR’s autonomous vehicle platform have been bolstered through an agreement it announced with self-driving startup Aurora.
The global strategic deal is to develop, test and commercialise autonomous Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks for the stated goal of enhancing safety and operational efficiency of the customers of parent company PACCAR.
PACCAR engineers will integrate with Aurora Driver for an accelerated development program — Aurora’s first commercial application in heavy vehicles — to create driverless capable trucks starting with the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt 579.
As part of the strategic partnership, PACCAR is to provide autonomous-enabled vehicles with industry-leading quality, durability and reliability resulting from decades of engineering excellence and manufacturing investments, as well as aftermarket parts distribution, finance and other transportation solutions.
In turn, Aurora provides industry-leading self-driving technology, including hardware, software and operational services.
Both partners will work closely together on all aspects of the collaboration, from component sourcing and vehicle technology to the integration of the Peterbilt and Kenworth vehicles with the Aurora Driver.
The partnership also includes vehicle validation at the PACCAR Technical Center and production support in PACCAR factories.
No schedule for deployment has been made public as yet, however, PACCAR expects the Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks to be active in the next few years.
“PACCAR looks forward to partnering with Aurora because of their industry-leading autonomous driving technology and impressive team,” said Preston Feight, PACCAR Chief Executive Officer.
“This strategic partnership complements PACCAR’s best-in-class commercial vehicle quality, technology and innovation.”
Aurora Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chris Urmson said the company was excited to take the next step in its collaboration with PACCAR.
“Working together, we’ve been impressed with PACCAR’s product engineering, manufacturing capabilities, and commitment to enhancing its customers’ operational safety and efficiency,” he said.
“This partnership brings us one step closer to unlocking the autonomous freight market and delivering goods to those who need them.”