Aurora delays autonomous truck launch following provider constraints

Dive Transient:

  • Aurora Innovation, one of many startups pushing for autonomous truck commercialization, postponed the launch of its self-driving automobile by a yr because of delays in securing tier 1 suppliers for truck {hardware}.
  • The corporate was aiming for a 2023 rollout, however CEO and co-founder Chris Urmson stated on an Aug. 3 earnings name that “provide chain constraints” have hindered the corporate’s means to scale manufacturing. The delays brought about Aurora to revise its expectations for producing road-ready vehicles till the primary half of 2024.
  • Aurora and its accomplice Paccar labored to safe key provider contracts in the course of the first half of this yr, which Urmson stated could be a “main level of schedule threat discount” going ahead.

Dive Perception:

Aurora has been working with accomplice Paccar to retrofit vehicles with the startup’s self-driving expertise platform and sensors. The retrofitted vehicles have been utilized in a number of Aurora pilot packages.

Earlier than the autonomous truck’s business launch nonetheless, Aurora and Paccar intention to construct new vehicles which might be produced with the startup’s self-driving platform and sensors as a part of the unique {hardware}. To take action, Paccar has needed to safe new tier 1 suppliers for wanted elements, a course of that has proved harder than anticipated.

“As robust because the collaboration progress has been these packages should not proof against the business challenges we proceed to see,” Urmson stated on the decision.

The constraints have slowed down Aurora’s means to scale manufacturing of its unique autonomous vehicles. Whereas it plans to roll out roughly 20 vehicles at launch, the startup hopes to later produce tons of or 1000’s of automobiles, and “need[s] the techniques in place to have constant entry to the elements that we want,” stated firm consultant Jake Martin.

Aurora didn’t specify what kinds of particular elements it and Paccar just lately solid provider offers for, however Martin famous that in the case of “objects inside our management,” the corporate stays on observe with its preliminary timeline. The startup stays dedicated to finishing the options of its Aurora Driver software program by the tip of the primary quarter of 2023.

Others within the sector have confronted related provide struggles as firms vie for {hardware} suppliers and elements to retrofit automobiles and produce purpose-built autonomous vehicles.

Embark Vehicles confronted questions on the problem throughout its Q2 earnings name on Thursday, to which CEO and co-founder Alex Rodrigues famous that the corporate’s engineering workforce “our truthful shares of suppliers that had hassle during the last couple of quarters.”

Competitor TuSimple, which has partnered with producer Navistar to provide its autonomous vehicles, introduced in Might that they’d postpone the goal launch of their totally built-in, autonomous automobiles to 2025. The startup blamed the delay on “unprecedented international supply-based challenges,” co-founder and CEO Xiaodi Hou stated on a Q1 2022 earnings name.

“The issues that we can’t management on this planet is that the provision scarcity on [building materials],” Hou stated on the decision.

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