Waymo launching self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta

Waymo launching self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta

Waymo's autonomous trucking program is coming along - though we haven't heard much about it since discovering it was a real thing past year, Waymo today announced that it's launching a pilot program in Atlanta to focus specifically on self-driving trucks and automated logistics.

Though the program will draw on Waymo's learnings from the vehicle sphere, putting trucks on public roads comes with its own challenges.

The firm said that the software used to drive the big trucks is the same as that which drives the company's cars; the lorries also use the same suite of sensors that power Waymo's self-driving minivan.

Waymo, which is among the leaders for this technology, expects autonomous vehicles to be able to take over longer distance trucking in the coming years, while allowing human drivers to handle local pickup and delivery routes. Germany's Daimler AG got a jump on Waymo when it showed off its fully licensed autonomous Freightliner Inspiration truck at the Hoover Dam in 2015. Though the goal is for the truck to drive itself, there will be a driver in the cab to monitor systems and take over if there's an emergency.

Though Waymo has been testing its self-driving semis for a year now, they're not quite ready for the big leagues yet. Waymo began testing the technology on the trucks in 2017 at California and Arizona research facilities. "If you are in the Atlanta area, look for a bright blue Waymo truck making a run", Waymo said. Waymo says the "principles are the same, but things like braking, turning, and blind spots are different with a fully-loaded truck and trailer".

Related:

Comments


Other news