Continental and Aurora have announced an exclusive partnership to deliver the first commercially scalable generation of Aurora’s flagship integrated hardware and software system, the Aurora Driver.
Together, the organizations will design, develop, validate, deliver, and service the scalable autonomous system for the trucking industry. The jointly developed system is expected to be available for carriers and commercial fleet operators across the U.S. and will work to reduce costs while facilitating broader adoption. Continental will leverage its experiences in systems development for safer, more reliable, automotive solutions to industrialize the Aurora Driver. It will also deliver the full hardware set alongside a new fallback system. This system is activated in the unlikely event that the primary autonomy system fails and, upon detecting this failure, ensures a driverless truck can continue the driving task until it reaches a safe position.
Continental has said that it will manage the complete lifecycle of its supplied autonomous hardware kits for the Aurora Driver, from the manufacturing line to decommissioning. Production is expected to commence in 2027 following the expected launch of Aurora Horizon – the company’s subscription trucking service underpinned by Aurora Driver in 2024. The company will likewise be responsible for autonomous driving system kits that will leverage its sensors, automated driving control units, high performance computers, telematics units, and more, through to the complete fallback system which covers the full chain of effects. Continental will further integrate these hardware components into pods, which will then be supplied to Aurora’s vehicle manufacturing partners.
Both companies have agreed on a hardware-as-a-service business relationship, based on the mileage driven to deliver safe, reliable, uptime-optimized, and commercially scalable autonomous driving systems to customers through the Aurora Horizon platform. Aurora Horizon itself was developed to offer a safer, more predictable, and cost-efficient service to supplement human driver supply. Using this service, carriers and fleet operators will be able to more effectively utilize the potential of their vehicle fleets, scale business on demand, and help address today’s driver shortage.
Continental and Aurora plan to provide this scalable solution to Aurora’s vehicle manufacturing partners. Continental parts are expected to be produced and assembled in its newly built manufacturing facility in New Braunfels, TX, as well as others across the company’s global footprint.