Autonomous truck company Aurora Innovation on Monday announced an on-site fleet maintenance collaboration with Ryder System (CCJ Top 250, No. 14), where Ryder technicians will be embedded at Aurora’s terminal in South Dallas to support the current pilot operations and prepare for commercial operation at scale.

As part of the pilot, Ryder technicians to work alongside Aurora technicians at Aurora’s South Dallas terminal to maintain Aurora’s fleet of autonomous Class 8 tractors, including inspections, preventative maintenance, and repairs; inspect and maintain trailers for pilot hauls and compliance with DOT standards; and collaborate with Aurora to minimize downtime and improve maintenance operations.

“As we co-develop our playbook for on-site maintenance at our terminals, we look forward to collaborating with Ryder on other services like roadside assistance and terminal operations to develop autonomous service delivery at scale,” said Kendra Phillips, vice president of service delivery at Aurora.

Higher utilization means autonomous trucks will require more frequent preventative maintenance and immediate access to corrective maintenance, making on-site maintenance at Aurora’s terminals essential as the company moves toward the commercialization of autonomous trucks. Aurora expects on-site maintenance in its terminals to be particularly significant as it increases pilot customer hauls to 100 per week, which it anticipates reaching at the end of 2023.

“Teaming up with Ryder’s sophisticated maintenance team will help to unlock the potential of autonomous trucks for around-the-clock operation. This collaboration will add value to our pilot customers and ultimately strengthen our commercial product, Aurora Horizon,” Phillips said. 

Aurora in August announced a partnership with Schneider National (No. 8) to haul freight for Schneider’s customers in Peterbilts equipped with the Aurora Driver, a self-driving system designed to operate multiple vehicle types, between Dallas and Houston with Aurora vehicle operators on board.