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Ryder (R), Aurora to Pilot Maintenance of Autonomous Trucks

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Ryder System, Inc. (R - Free Report) , a reputed player in the supply chain, fleet management and transportation solutions, recently collaborated with Aurora Innovation Inc., a major autonomous vehicle company, to pilot on-site fleet maintenance. With Ryder technicians embedded at Aurora’s terminal in South Dallas, the goal is to support the current pilot operations and prepare for commercial operations at scale.

As part of the pilot project, Ryder will bring experienced technicians to work in unison with Aurora’s at the latter’s South Dallas terminal. Together, they will ensure holistic conservation and maintenance work. Responsibilities will include the upkeep of Aurora’s fleet of autonomous Class 8 tractors, along with inspections and repairs. Inspection and maintenance of trailers for pilot hauls and compliance with DOT standards, and collaboration with Aurora to reduce downtime and improve maintenance operations will be the other aspects.

Ryder has opined that the partnership will further bolster its vision of expediting the commercialization of autonomous technology and the deployment of autonomous trucks across the United States.

Further, the collaboration will leverage Ryder’s nearly 90 years of fleet maintenance experience that will strengthen Aurora’s autonomous trucks and add value to its commercial product, Aurora Horizon. Aurora also anticipates significant on-site maintenance in its terminals as it increases pilot customer hauls to 100 per week, expected to reach at the end of 2023.

Autonomous technology has enormous potential to optimize vehicle utilization. But, higher utilization implies that autonomous trucks will require frequent preventative and corrective maintenance. These calls for on-site maintenance services and the partnership will benefit both companies.

In September last year, Ryder partnered with another autonomous trucking company, Embark. It stated that it had plans to help Embark introduce a nationwide network of up to 100 transfer points that will be owned and operated by the latter.

Apart from this, last year Ryder also announced plans to aid Waymo Via in scaling its autonomous trucking business by supporting standardized fleet maintenance and management.

Its focused efforts in bringing AV to the future of transportation are noteworthy.

Shares of Ryder have lost 2.5% over the past year compared with its industry’s 12.1% decline.

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Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

R currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Here are some top-ranked players in the auto space – Allison Transmission Holdings (ALSN - Free Report) , (PRTS - Free Report) and Genuine Parts Company (GPC - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Allison has an expected earnings growth rate of 25.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ALSN’s current-year earnings has been revised 3.6% upward in the past 30 days.

CarParts has an expected earnings growth rate of 45% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has remained constant over the past 30 days.

Genuine Parts has an expected earnings growth rate of 18.1% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 2.4% upward over the past 30 days.

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