Aurora Opens Commercial-Ready Autonomous Truck Terminal

South Dallas Location Viewed as a 'Blueprint' for Its Future Network of Terminals
Aurora's South Dallas Terminal
Aurora's South Dallas Terminal. (Aurora via Business Wire)

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Aurora, the company with ambitious plans to deploy driverless trucks in Texas by the end of 2024, is taking another step toward an autonomous delivery network.

On April 13, Dallas-based Aurora announced the launch of its first commercial-ready terminal for autonomous trucks in Palmer, meaning it has features and services to enable autonomous deployment and to optimize asset utilization for customers. The terminal already deploys trucks pulling freight for pilot customers such as FedEx, Schneider and Uber Freight between Dallas and Houston.

“The terminals are really essential to how we operate,” said Kendra Phillips, vice president of service delivery at Aurora. “Another big piece of Aurora’s strategy is that we want to own and operate our initial terminal so that we get it right. Right to us means providing a service that drives our customer’s vehicle uptime and high utilization.”

So far, trucking firms testing the technology on pilot routes in Texas have used a safety driver in the front seat as a backstop to autonomous software. Aurora is working to bring self-driving technology to freight logistics.

WHO'S WHO: In self-driving truck development

Aurora operates four terminals today — Dallas, Houston, Fort Worth and El Paso. The South Dallas terminal in Palmer is a “blueprint” for Aurora’s future network of terminals.

The South Dallas terminal “has all of the tools, features, functionalities, processes, people, to ensure that [Aurora] can perform all of the autonomous activities at the terminal, perform all the traditional transportation activities at the terminal and allow customers to run their load as they normally would in their supply chain through our terminal network with [Aurora’s] autonomous trucks,” Phillips said.

Aurora's Kendra Phillips


Aurora expects the Houston terminal to be commercially ready by the third quarter of this year, keeping the company on track to ensure all of Aurora’s processes and technologies are ready for the end of 2024, she said.

“We want to be way ahead of the game and know that we have everything down,” Phillips said. “I think that’s a huge value to our customers.”

North Texas is a hot spot as a self-driving testing ground. Gatik, Waymo, Kodiak and TuSimple also have operations testing and transporting goods in Dallas-Fort Worth.

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