Waymo launching self-driving truck pilot to Atlanta
Mar 09 2018 by Michele Stevens
Google's logistics team will work closely with Waymo's team to give Waymo's self-driving trucks a chance to operate in a real-world business scenario. Both companies recently came to a settlement and are now discussing a potential partnership.
Waymo said that Atlanta is one of the largest US logistics hubs, which is why it makes sense to test its autonomous trucks there with Google's cargo. The trucks will not be completely alone because there will be highly trained drivers in the cabs, just in case anything goes wrong.
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. Now, Waymo is teaching the software to manage the increased challenge of a truck.
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Today, Waymo, which is Alphabet's self-driving company, announced a pilot program located in Atlanta to further test its autonomous technology. Interestingly, the company said it now has nearly 10 years of experience in self-driving passenger vehicles, which it will leverage for its autonomous trucks. The company noted that its system leverages data collected from 5 million autonomous miles driven with another 5 billion driven in simulation.
The work being done with Google's logistics team means that it can also plug into an existing system for allocating loads, connecting shippers, factories, distribution centres, ports and more to have them ready to slot into the existing freight shipping ecosystem when fully ready. "If you are in the Atlanta area, look for a bright blue Waymo truck making a run", Waymo said.