Autonomous Trucks Take the Fast Lane: Continental & Aurora Finalize Design

Continental and Aurora Innovation announced a major step forward in the quest for widespread autonomous trucking: finalizing the design and architecture of the Aurora Driver’s hardware and fallback system. This milestone paves the way for mass production of reliable, self-driving trucks starting in 2027.

A World-First: Serviceable Autonomous Systems at Scale

Introducing new automotive technology often takes years. But Continental and Aurora recognized this challenge and joined forces to develop cost-effective, serviceable hardware kits for autonomous trucks. This partnership enables Aurora to deploy its driverless system at scale after its initial launch later this year. Continental’s expertise in automotive development and manufacturing ensures the Aurora Driver’s durability and value for millions of miles.

“Technologies for autonomous mobility present the biggest opportunity to transform driving behavior since the creation of the automobile,” said Philipp von Hirschheydt, Executive Board member for the Automotive Group Sector at Continental. “Achieving this milestone puts us on a credible path to deploy easy-to-service autonomous trucking systems that customers demand.”

Safety First: Joining Forces for Maximum Redundancy

Aurora leverages Continental’s engineering prowess to create a robust fallback system, expected to enter production in 2027. This secondary computer takes over if the primary system fails, ensuring safety even in rare cases of component malfunction. This dual-engineering approach minimizes single points of failure, further enhancing reliability.

“From day one, we knew we’d need to build a strong ecosystem of partners to bring this technology to market safely and at a commercial scale,” said Chris Urmson, Co-Founder and CEO at Aurora. “Finalizing the design of our future hardware is a meaningful step toward making the Aurora Driver cost-effective and building a sustainable business.”

The Road to 2027: A Four-Year Roadmap to Scale

Continental and Aurora outlined their roadmap for bringing thousands of autonomous trucks to life:

  • 2023 (Complete): Blueprint and Design: Defining the detailed system architecture, requirements, and specifications for the Aurora Driver hardware and fallback system.
  • 2024-2025: Build and Test: Constructing initial hardware prototypes for testing at Continental’s facility in Texas and other locations globally.
  • 2026-2027: Finalization, Production, and Integration: Industrializing and validating the hardware and fallback system before mass production in Continental’s facilities. Integrating the hardware with trucks built by Aurora’s manufacturing partners. Developing a service and maintenance network.
  • 2027 and beyond: Deployment at Scale: Thousands of autonomous trucks equipped with the Aurora Driver crisscrossing the U.S. highways.

“Entering an exclusive partnership with Aurora was a very good decision as it is an ideal match,” von Hirschheydt added. “Being the industry’s only tier-one supplier with a commitment to industrialize autonomous hardware kits at scale allows us to be at the forefront of this groundbreaking technology.”

Experience the Future at CES 2024

Visit Continental’s exhibit at CES 2024 from January 9 to 12 to witness their latest innovations, including their collaboration with Aurora. An exclusive media event is scheduled for January 9. Contact Jennifer Weyrich for details.


Self Drive News
Self Drive News

Self Drive News is a premier B2B digital resource meticulously curated for industry professionals, stakeholders, and enthusiasts in the rapidly accelerating world of autonomous vehicles. Rooted in innovation and forward-thinking, we deliver insightful, reliable, and up-to-the-minute news, connecting the diverse and dynamic strands of the autonomous vehicle industry under one interactive platform.