Aurora and FedEx collaborate on driverless technology to address trucker shortages.

Ford (F) and FedEx (FDX) have announced a collaboration to test self-driving trucks between Dallas and Houston.

Aurora, on the other hand, intends to launch a driverless version of its experiment in two years, rather than having an operator in the truck for the time being.

FedEx will use the trucks to help deliver packages across Texas, a nearly 500-mile distance

Aurora is developing autonomous vehicle technology to assist the trucking industry in dealing with a driver shortage. In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance Live, Aurora CEO Chris Urmson stated, “We believe that the value of the Aurora driver automation is really profound.” There is currently a critical shortage of drivers in the United States… In that case, [having a driver to supplement our human drivers] would be beneficial to our partners.”

He claimed this was due to the fact that self-driving cars would not be constrained by work schedules, allowing them to “effectively shrink the country” by making it “easier (and) faster (and) for goods to move around the country.”

Aurora announced plans to go public through a SPAC deal earlier this year

 Reinvent Technology Partners Y, a special purpose acquisition company founded by Zynga founder Mark Pincus and managing partner Michael Thompson, acquired the startup.

“We started our SPAC process with the intention of building it as a high-quality, IPO-like process and simply happened to use the SPAC vehicle to do so,” Urmson explained. 

Urmson claims that the ambitious project is the result of three distinct industries working together. “What we’ve done is bring together three of the industry’s most respected names.” Aurora creates driver software, and Paccar and Peterbilt construct the truck. Since driverless cars have been permitted on Texas roads, FedEx and the company have collaborated to help create a market for the technology.

According to Urmson, the goal of this collaboration is to automate line haul operations and support FedEx while also helping to grow their business. FedEx is the most important shipper. According to a company representative, a driverless operation could be operational by the end of the year:


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