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Aurora Innovation leverages partnerships to smooth supply chain

This fireside chat recap is from Thursday, the third day of FreightWaves’ Global Supply Chain Week.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Sorting through supply chain issues for autonomous trucks

DETAILS: Autonomous trucks are so few in number, they risk falling to the back of the line when it comes to getting parts. Aurora Innovation leverages partnerships with manufacturers Volvo Trucks and Paccar Inc. to avoid development delays. Aurora Senior Vice President of Business Development and Product Strategy Dave Maday talks about other supply chain challenges to driverless trucks.

KEY QUOTES FROM MADAY:

One of the things you have to do, even working with strong partners, is you have to demonstrate a degree of patience, and at the same time you have to optimize your ability to source parts and adapt. Not everything is going to go great when you start, but having really deep collaboration with your OEM partners is the way to mitigate most of the risks and challenges.”

“When we think about our partnership strategy, we don’t require exclusivity and our partners don’t require it either. Deploying self-driving technology means that we can’t be exclusive in trying to box people out. It sets the wrong incentive strategy because all of a sudden if our volume isn’t large enough and they can’t monetize somewhere else, their prioritization of this technology gets worse.”

“There’s a lot of growing pains that the industry is going to need to go through in terms of how to deploy this. In the long term, we can see a Paccar program on another developer’s [system], but we’re not worried about that.”