Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Above Waymo's now doing trucks

Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving company, announced a new pilot program that's located in Atlanta to further test its autonomous technology.

Mostly known for its self-driving cars, Waymo has integrated its technology into Peterbilt Class 8 trucks, which will carry cargo to Google data centers.

Waymo has been testing its autonomous tractor-trailers on roads in California and Arizona since previous year.

Waymo's, the former Google self-driving vehicle project, announced it is turning its attention to the trucking industry.

Now that Waymo is free of its long-running legal battle with Uber, it is focusing its attention on more important endeavors; namely spreading its self-driving technology to more platforms.

Above Waymo truck
Above Waymo truck

The self-driving sensors in the trucks is the same as in the Waymo autonomous minivans. Although the basic principles of driving remain the same, driving a truck that's loaded down with cargo is trickier due to its size and different ways of handling. During the pilot, a trained human driver will sit behind the wheel, ready to take over, if necessary.

Despite the larger vehicle platform, Waymo engineers are said to have made rapid progress thanks to five million test miles using smaller cars on public roads and five billion miles in simulation.

Waymo joins Uber and Tesla in the race to develop autonomous trucks and disrupt the traditional trucking industry. The program, called Uber Freight, addresses shipping logistics with software, connecting shippers to available truck drivers via an app- much like Uber's ride-hailing app works. If you live in Atlanta and see one of Waymo's big blue trucks, then, you can rest assured that it isn't operating completely autonomously yet.

Self-driving trucks could be quite interesting, since trucking is a very vital part of our economy.

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




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