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Amazon Self-Driving Subsidiary Aurora Starts Testing Fleet In Texas

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Amazon Self-Driving Subsidiary Aurora Starts Testing Fleet In Texas

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: 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. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: 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 (NASDAQ: 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, (NYSE: F), Uber Technologies Inc, (NYSE: UBER), and Waymo, the Verge noted.

 

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