Toyota and Aurora, a US developer of autonomous vehicle systems, have begun testing a fleet of autonomous vehicles in Texas. The test of the autonomous vehicle involved two safety operators and carried no passengers.
The car used is a Toyota Sienna which is equipped with the Aurora self-driving system. The Toyota Sienna will be tested on highways and suburban roads in the Dallas-Fort-Worth area, including on the way to the airport.
As an autonomous vehicle startup, Aurora is under pressure to quickly generate revenue from their billion-dollar investment amid the technological hurdles.
“The route demonstrates Aurora's ability to operate safely at highway speeds, a technical differentiator that allows it to prioritize popular and profitable trips,” Aurora said in a statement.
Aurora's competitor Waymo charges a fee for their autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix suburbs. Waymo has not provided travel routes to and from the airport.
Waymo previously said it was preparing to expand its autonomous car operations in the densely populated city of San Francisco, without providing a timeframe for launch.
Aurora, led by Chris Urmson, Google's former head of self-driving cars who has since become Waymo, said they plan to continue adding autonomous vehicles to their fleet.