Aurora, the autonomous vehicle company founded by the former lead engineer for Google’s self-driving car project, announced that its autonomous trucks and taxis will be available to customers via subscriptions.
Aurora doesn’t expect to roll out its self-driving trucks and ride-hailing vehicles until 2023 and 2024, respectively, but the company is providing more detail about how it plans on putting them into commercial operation.
Aurora’s trucking service will be called “Aurora Horizon,” in which the company says it will provide trucking carriers and private fleets “with a reliable and scalable driver supply powered by the Aurora Driver.” The Aurora Driver is the name the company uses to describe the hardware and software it uses to enable a vehicle to drive itself under certain conditions.
The ride-hailing service, called “Aurora Connect,” will allow vehicles equipped with the company’s Driver technology to integrate ride-hailing network software so it can be used as a taxi.
Aurora’s customers won’t be individual truckers or ride-hailing passengers, but rather the logistics firms and companies that operate for-hire vehicle fleets. In that respect, Aurora is seeking to distinguish itself from other companies in the autonomous vehicle world, which are seeking to be both technology providers and fleet operators.
Aurora’s decision to make its self-driving vehicles available by subscription is unique, but not completely unheard of. The company says that subscribers to either Aurora Horizon or Aurora Connect will have access to the Aurora Driver, a mission control system called Aurora Beacon, and a roadside assistance program and extended support called Aurora Shield.
The company isn’t revealing the price of its subscription products.