Uber Freight and Aurora have expanded the scope of their joint autonomous pilot with a new commercial lane between the cities of Fort Worth and El Paso in Texas. The 600-mile lane launched in October and will help support Uber Freight customers as they prepare for an uptake in deliveries during the 2022 holiday season.

To help Uber Freight customers meet the heightened delivery demand the season brings, Aurora’s autonomous trucking service, Aurora Horizon, is making weekly hauls of consumer and wholesale goods. The autonomy of the expanded service was highlighted in a use case involving Veritiv Corp., a distributor of customized packaging solutions. Here, goods were transported to retail, education, and healthcare customers – with the first and final legs of deliveries across western Texas and New Mexico handled by human drivers.

In testing its autonomous technologies through the busy holiday season, Aurora is aiming to highlight its potential to respond quickly to new demands and fluctuating supply chains. As the company works with additional carriers on Uber Freight’s network, it will incorporate learnings from this pilot into its subscription service for carriers and private fleets.

Further along its partnership, Aurora and Uber Freight aim to unlock autonomous truck capacity for carriers with Aurora Horizon, deploying it to customers in the coming years and serving carriers across the Uber Freight platform.