Waymo and Google launch a self-driving truck pilot in Atlanta

10 March, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Natasha Holloway
  • Waymo is testing self-driving trucks in Atlanta

The company announced on Friday that its self-driving trucks have begun hauling real cargo in the Atlanta area.

The trucks have been undergoing road tests in California and Arizona and now are being launched in a pilot in Atlanta starting next week. The announcement comes two days after rival Uber Technologies said its self-driving trucks will haul cargo on Arizona highways. It said that the software is learning to drive trucks in the same way a human would after years of driving a vehicle.

Waymo has been testing autonomous cars in the wild for some time and has also revealed plans for a self-driving ride-hailing service and unveiled a self-driving minivan.

Alphabet's self-driving auto tech division, Waymo, has been making quite a bit of progress with their vehicles lately.

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Google has had a data center presence in Georgia since 2003. "In short, our near-decade of experience with passenger vehicles has given us a head start in trucking". As the company explains, the basic principles are the same but driving a semi is harder as the braking, turning radius and blind spots are completely different than on normal passenger cars. And our engineers and AI experts are leveraging the same five million miles we've already self-driven on public roads, plus the five billion miles we've driven in simulation. While the trucks are capable of carrying the full 80,000-pound weight of a loaded big rig, the actual weights tested will depend on the type of shipment, a Waymo spokeswoman said.

The advent of autonomous trucking has the potential to have an enormous impact on the USA economy as trucks still carry much of the freight hauled across the nation.

Initially, Waymo will have a safety driver behind the wheel just like these other companies.

Waymo believes self-driving technology has the potential to make this sector safer and more efficient.

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