AV company Aurora hires president ahead of commercial launch TechCrunch

Aurora Innovation announced Monday that it has hired Ossa Fisher as president as the self-driving vehicle company prepares to commercially launch its self-driving truck business next year.

The company said Fisher, who most recently served as president and chief operating officer of education technology company Istation, will be based in Dallas. Aurora is headquartered in Pittsburgh and has offices in San Francisco and Mountain View, but its self-driving truck testing and operations are in the Dallas area.

Aurora Innovation was founded in 2017 by Sterling Anderson, Drew Bagnell and Chris Urmson – three veterans of the nascent world of autonomous vehicle technology who previously worked at Tesla, Uber and Google’s self-driving project (now Waymo), respectively. Urmson is CEO, Anderson is product manager, and Bagnell is chief scientist.

Fisher’s experience building and running a business venture will balance the more technical backgrounds of Aurora’s three founders, according to a company spokesperson.

The hiring comes about a year ahead of the company’s planned commercial launch by the end of 2024. Aurora has a number of pilot programs with customers like FedEx, Schneider, and Uber Freight, all of which are “paid.” However, Aurora has referred to this as “collaboration income” and does not recognize it as a true business operation.

Aurora Innovation said in November it had enough money to continue developing its self-driving vehicle technology until commercial launch. The company ended the third quarter with approximately $1.2 billion in cash and short-term investments.

The company is expected to release its fourth quarter results on Feb. 15.


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