Autonomous vehicle technology company Aurora Innovation has unveiled a fleet management system that can be used to help optimize the operations of the startup’s trucking and trucking products.
Aurora announced the platform, called Aurora Beacon, along with its first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday, during which the company presented investors with a series of milestones on its path to commercialization of its truck product, Aurora Horizon, and the launch of its shared transport product, Aurora Connect, both of which are based on the same autonomous stack.
Once Aurora hits the shelves, Beacon will provide customers with access to real-time data on their vehicles, such as status, status and current location, as well as real-time alerts on things like vehicle status, ETA, traffic, mission updates and major weather events, the company says. All of these tools will add to Beacon’s ability to schedule, dispatch, monitor and coordinate fleets, which Aurora is already using in fleet operations today.
A real world example that Aurora gave is in the case of a tire with low air pressure; an alert will be sent to the fleet manager, who can then redirect the vehicle to a nearby service center.
The startup has active business pilots today with FedEx, Uber Freight and, most recently, Werner Enterprises, all three involving autonomous freight transportation in Texas, but it’s not yet clear if the company is currently using Beacon with those customers. . However, learnings from those partnerships helped inform the creation of Beacon, the company said.
“This level of insight and control over the real-time location, status and goals of autonomous vehicles will help Aurora customers maximize their utilization and responsiveness to changing conditions and network demands,” he said. Aurora in a statement.
Beacon also provides remote support in the event that a vehicle driven by Aurora Driver runs into a situation it hasn’t encountered before and can’t resolve, such as being pulled over by the police, something fellow AV partner Cruise has recently faced.
Eventually, as the company moves closer to commercial deployment, Beacon will be offered alongside Aurora Driver, the company’s self-driving system, as a product that can be incorporated via API into existing carrier, fleet and and networks, according to Aurora. .
Aurora Q1 2022 Finance
Aurora closed the first quarter of the year with an operating loss of $143 million, which is down from $192 million in the same quarter last year. Similarly, its net loss this quarter was $77 million, down from $189 million last year.
The company ended the quarter with nearly $42 million in “collaboration revenue” from development work associated with the company’s deal with Toyota, which will support its planned ride-sharing product. In March, the company unveiled its test fleet of six Toyota Sienna robotaxis, which will be tested in Texas on high-speed routes.
Ultimately, collaboration revenue is not revenue, and as a pre-revenue generating company, Aurora refused to provide guidance, allowing the company to end their call, including Q&A, in approximately 30 minutes.
Aurora ended the quarter with $1.5 billion in cash and short-term investments, money the company will use to continue developing Aurora Driver for commercial deployment at scale, with a focus on bringing its truck product to market first. The company also expects to raise an additional $52 million in cash from Toyota during the rest of the year, which should help it further develop its ride-sharing product, according to Richard Tame, Aurora’s chief financial officer.
Aurora shares are up a bit after hours and are currently trading at $4.10 at the time of writing.