Waymo self-driving trucks begin hauling for Google's data centers

11 March, 2018, 01:50 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Since this technology is still in its infancy compared to some of Waymo's other projects, their autonomous semi trucks will have "highly-trained" drivers in the cab at all times, ready to take control of the vehicle in the event of an emergency or an AI hiccup. Starting next week, Waymo's self-driving trucks will travel through metro Atlanta, delivering cargo to Google's data center in Douglas County, Georgia.

Waymo's goal is to eventually integrate this technology into their shipping operations across their network of factories, distribution centers, ports and terminals. Waymo and Google's logistics team are pairing up to tackle this together, and this pilot program is the culmination of one year of testing in California and Arizona. They benefit from the same advanced self-driving software that has enabled our cars to go fully driverless in Arizona.

Uber has been testing self-driving truck technology since 2016, and began using autonomous rigs for hauls late past year.

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In a blog post, Waymo wrote "We've been able to make rapid progress because our driver - Waymo's self-driving technology - is not only experienced, but adaptable". Even though most of those miles were for passenger vehicles, the firm says almost a decade of experience gives it a head start in trucking. It's doing this through the same way you'd each anyone with passenger auto driving experience on how to drive a semi truck.

Waymo joins Uber and Tesla in the race to develop autonomous trucks and disrupt the traditional trucking industry. "The transport of freight and cargo is a critical driver for the American economy". 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. With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation - from ride-hailing to logistics.

Waymo's self-driving trucks will start rolling out next week.



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