Aurora Innovation, Inc., a research and development company focused on enhancing the adoption of next-gen self-driving technology, has unveiled a test fleet of its autonomous, custom-designed, Toyota Sienna vehicles which feature Toyota’s Vehicle Control Interface (VCI) and Sienna Autono-MaaS (S-AM) platform.
You can read more about Toyota's plant focusing on self-driving tech here.
Aurora says the Toyota S-AM, a hybrid electric vehicle, will serve as the backbone platform for the launch of Aurora Connect, its autonomous ride-hailing product.
Over the last year, Aurora and Toyota have worked together to refine the requirements to prepare this vehicle model to integrate with the Aurora Driver.
Aurora Driver technology adapts to a variety of vehicle types and use cases, delivering the benefits of self-driving across several industries including long-haul trucking, local goods delivery, and people movement.
Aurora says it will be autonomously testing the fleet on highways and suburban streets in Texas—handling u-turns, high-speed merges, and lane changes.
Additionally, the technology can react to various forms of construction, stop-and-go traffic, inclement weather and can detect pedestrians, motorcyclists, traffic lights, and more.“Toyota’s engineering team is truly world-class. Experiencing the result together this week was special and is a testament to our progress and respect for one another. We’ve designed and delivered a purpose-built test fleet specifically for a ride-hailing experience that’s comfortable, convenient, and safe, and we look forward to sharing more on our progress soon.” — Sterling Anderson, Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder at Aurora.
In addition to the new fleet, Aurora Driver Beta 2.0 has been released—the second release of its integrated hardware and autonomy system. This release powers the Toyota Sienna test fleet along with debuting new capabilities and critical improvements including advanced highway and suburban capabilities, upgraded cameras with higher resolution, and a new commercial route supported by daily map updates.“Aurora Driver Beta 2.0 represents an incremental yet critical milestone in our path to launching an end-to-end autonomous product that can safely move both freight and people. Whether we’re hauling goods for FedEx or preparing to take passengers to the airport, we’re seeing our technology evolve into a valuable product, and that’s exciting.” — Chris Urmson, Aurora CEO and Co-Founder.
The Aurora Driver 2.0 is the first version that is powering the vehicle platforms that are expected to launch both Aurora Horizon, its trucking product, and Aurora Connect, its ride-hailing product.