Aurora provided a first look at the Aurora-powered Volvo VNL—Volvo’s flagship long-haul truck, integrated with the Aurora Driver’s sensor suite. This prototype is the first of the Volvo VNL fleet to be designed to operate with the Aurora Driver and represents a significant step as Aurora and Volvo begin building commercial L4 Class 8 trucks at scale for Volvo’s North American customers.
Volvo builds hundreds of thousands of trucks each year and has developed trusted relationships with shippers and carriers over the course of decades. By joining forces with Volvo Autonomous Solutions, Aurora has the support of Volvo’s trucking industry stature, engineering prowess, production capacity, commercial relationships, and safety leadership to commercialize Aurora-powered Volvo trucks at scale.
Aurora is leveraging the power of the Aurora Driver Development Program to structure the engagement with Volvo and maximize the combined team’s strengths in world-class vehicle engineering, manufacturing and support, and autonomous vehicle technology development.
Safely developing vehicles powered by the Aurora Driver for wide deployment is a complex multi-phase process—from alignment on core development requirements to implementation, testing, validation, refinement, and, finally, operation and expansion. Aurora designs a deeply integrated purpose-built vehicle for the Aurora Driver through close relationships with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) or platform partnerships. This is why Aurora is collaborating with Volvo to design the VNL architecture for its Driver and why these trucks will be manufactured on Volvo’s own production line.
Over the next several months, Aurora will integrate its feature-complete hardware kit and test and validate Aurora-powered Volvo VNL trucks through its robust Virtual Testing Suite.
Through the experience of integrating the Aurora Driver with eight different platforms and learning from half a dozen OEMs in the process, Aurora developed a refined Driver-vehicle interface and the Aurora Driver Development program, a mature vehicle development, validation, and launch program.
The Aurora Driver Development Program was designed with five distinct phases, which include 1) Laying the Foundation; 2) Define and Build; 3) Refine and Pilots; 4) Validate; and 5) Launch and Expand.
The Aurora Driver Development Program leverages the “common core” design of the Aurora Driver to deliver self-driving long-haul trucks and passenger vehicles simultaneously. The Aurora Driver “common core” refers to how its hardware, software, infrastructure, and development tools are designed to work across all vehicle types. This commonality ensures that every learning, development, hardware improvement, and cost reduction made to the Aurora Driver benefits every vehicle it powers, which also allows for concurrent vehicle development.