Waymo Launching Self-Driving Trucks in Atlanta

11 March, 2018, 01:45 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • EnlargeWaymo

Waymo, Alphabet Inc.'s autonomous vehicle company, is finally ready to put its self-driving trucks to work. Starting next week, Waymo's self-driving trucks will begin hauling cargo to Google's data centers. Waymo wouldn't say how many trucks are being tested, but it released pictures showing two blue semis.

To accomplish this, Waymo will be teaming up with Google's logistics team to accelerate the development of their self-driving semi truck technology and "integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers".

Waymo said the trucks have already logged thousands of miles in California and Arizona, so Georgia is the third market in which they're being tested.

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"Our software is learning to drive big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars", the company said in a blog post. However, truck drivers could eventually become a thing of the past as Waymo says "self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger" in the future. In January, Google brought its self-driving cars and minivans to Atlanta for testing and mapping.

Today's announcement comes a couple of weeks after Waymo announced its self-driving cars had covered 5 million miles on public roads. "In short, our near-decade of experience with passenger vehicles has given us a head start in trucking". Rival Uber made a similar announcement on Tuesday, saying it is using self-driving semi trucks to augment human-driven rigs in its on-demand trucking service in the USA state of Arizona. It's doing this through the same way you'd each anyone with passenger vehicle driving experience on how to drive a semi truck. "The transport of freight and cargo is a critical driver for the American economy". With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation - from ride-hailing to logistics. There, the trailers are hitched onto self-driving trucks for long highway hauls, according to the San Francisco-based company.

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