Toyota, Aurora test-drive autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Texas


The Toyota Motor Corp. brand within the Toyota Metropolis Showcase exhibit on the firm’s Mega Net automobile theme park in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs

Japan’s Toyota Motor and Aurora Innovation, a U.S. developer of automated driving programs, have began testing autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Texas, with two security operators and no passenger on board, Aurora mentioned on Tuesday.

Toyota’s Sienna minivans, retrofitted with Aurora’s self-driving system, will likely be examined on highways and suburban streets within the Dallas-Fort-Value space, with the operation together with journeys enroute to an airport.

Autonomous automobile startups are underneath stress to generate significant income from billions of {dollars} of engineering funding, however scaling up the fleet is a problem as technological hurdles stay.

“The route showcases Aurora’s capacity to soundly function at freeway speeds, a key technical differentiator that permits it to prioritize in style and profitable rides,” the U.S. firm mentioned in an announcement.

Aurora’s rival Waymo prices passengers of its driverless minivans for rides in restricted suburban areas in Phoenix, and airport pickups aren’t accessible.

Waymo mentioned on Monday it is able to deploy driverless automobiles within the densely populated San Francisco metropolis, with out giving a timeframe for the launch. learn extra

Aurora, led by Chris Urmson, a former head of Google’s self-driving automobile venture that has since turn into Waymo, mentioned it plans to proceed including automobiles to the fleet in preparation for industrial launch on ride-hailing networks corresponding to Uber.

Aurora purchased Uber’s autonomous automobile unit ATG in 2020 whereas the ride-hailing big had acquired a 26% possession curiosity in Aurora.

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