ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

Waymo to Pilot Autonomous Big Rigs in Atlanta

09 March 2018, 09:48 | Jodi Jackson

Waymo moves beyond driverless taxis with trucking program

Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

Waymo is expanding the scope of its self-driving experiments, announcing Friday that its autonomous trucks would soon begin delivering freight for Google's data centers in Atlanta.

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. Additionally, the trucks will be building upon the 5 million miles that the company's autonomous vehicles have already driven on public roads and the other 5 million miles of driving that have been simulated.

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.

The company cites Georgia's status as a logistics hub as the reasoning behind launching the pilot here.

Waymo self-driving tractor trailer
Enlarge Image That bright-blue rig is going to need Waymo space than one of Alphabet's self-driving minivans. Waymo

"On behalf of the State of Georgia, I am proud to welcome Waymo to Atlanta's community of industry leaders", said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal in a statement.

The new project, which will be developed in partnership with Google's logistics operations, will look into the ways self-driving trucks can integrate with distribution networks and shippers, including factories, ports and terminals. Of course, self-driving trucks aren't yet ready for full autonomy - there will be a driver present in the cab at all times, much as with cars.

"Trucking is a vital part of the American economy, and we believe self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and even stronger".

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