Amazon Self-Driving Subsidiary Aurora Starts Testing Fleet In Texas

Amazon.com Inc. AMZN-backed self-driving startup Aurora Innovation announced Monday it was expanding testing and development in Texas using a “small fleet of vehicles.”

What Happened

The test fleet, comprising of Pacificas and class 8 trucks, will be equipped with Aurora’s FirstLight Lidar and take to the highways near the Dallas-Forth Worth area in the “next few weeks.” The company justified the location, saying, more than a tenth of all long-haul truck drivers in the United States drive in Texas.

The startup, led by Chris Urmson, former lead engineer at Alphabet Inc. GOOGL GOOGL subsidiary Waymo, intends to carry out the tests along the state’s key logistics delivery corridors.

Aurora has already been testing its self-driving technology in San Francisco Bay Area and Pittsburgh.

Why It Matters

Most of the technology that the self-drive auto company uses is kept secret, but it has acquired a LIDAR sensor maker and also debuted a similar self-developed technology as well, the Verge reported.

In February,  Aurora raised $530 million from Amazon, T. Rowe Price Group Inc TROW, and Sequoia Capital, bringing the company’s valuation to nearly $2.5 billion.

Texas has previously attracted a host of companies for autonomous vehicle testing, including Ford Motor Company, FUber Technologies Inc, UBER, and Waymo, the Verge noted.

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