Working Together: Aurora is the First Self Driving Company PennDOT Authorizes for Testing in the Commonwealth
Our mission at Aurora is to bring self driving technology to the market safely, quickly, and broadly. To deliver, we are investing in strong, long-term collaborations built on trust and transparency. We deeply respect and value all of our partners — from vehicle manufacturers to legislators to the general public. Bringing the benefits of self-driving to society requires all of us to work together.
Pennsylvania is important to us, and we’re proud to build on our relationship with the Commonwealth. We are excited that our efforts to meaningfully engage, constructively respond, and be a good partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), have culminated in Aurora being the first self driving company operating in the Commonwealth to receive authorization to test autonomous vehicles in the State.
Safety is at the forefront of everything we do. We voluntarily complied with PennDOT’s request because we believe this will help the communities in and around Pittsburgh to be aware of Aurora, our testing, our commitment to safety, and our vision for a self-driving future. Our commitment to PennDOT includes providing information about where we are testing, the conditions under which we test, the internal checks and safety measures we use in this testing, the vetting and training of our vehicle operators and details about how our self-driving system works.
In addition to transparency and collaboration, our team, specifically our vehicle operators, are an important part of our commitment to prioritizing safety. When any vehicle in our test fleet drives autonomously on public roads in Pittsburgh, we make sure there is a vehicle operator in the driver seat and a co-pilot in the passenger seat. Our vehicle operators are full time employees (not independent contractors), thoroughly vetted, specially trained, and highly practiced on how to use our self-driving system. Each operator trains for 12 weeks in a rigorous training program that includes a defensive driving course and thorough coursework on how to operate our self-driving system safely. This training doesn’t stop there; the team continues to undergo weekly, quarterly, and annual refresher trainings.
We are committed to continuing our collaboration and strengthening our partnership with PennDOT as well as other local, state, and federal officials. Together with the oversight and care expected from the government and its citizens, we will bring self-driving technology to market safely, quickly, and broadly.