Waymo's self-driving 18-wheelers hit the road in Georgia

Waymo's self-driving 18-wheelers hit the road in Georgia

The announcement comes the same week that Uber said its self-driving trucks will begin operating on Arizona highways.

Waymo announced today that its self-driving trucks will deliver freight in Atlanta.

Waymo is teaming up with sister company Google's logistics team to "develop our technology and integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers, with their network of factories, distribution centers, ports and terminals". Waymo and Google's logistics team are pairing up to tackle this together, and this pilot program is the culmination of one year of testing in California and Arizona. Over this period, Waymo has improved its software by learning to drive the big rigs in much the same way a human driver would after years of driving passenger cars. 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.

Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit owned by Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), has always been at the forefront of the self-driving auto revolution, and now it's bringing that expertise into the commercial trucking world as well.

More news: 89-Year-Old Nun Being Sued by Katy Perry Dies in Court

Both moves are only the latest steps in the advancement of self-driving auto technology.

Going the distance: Waymo has already driven five million miles on public roads and another five billion in simulation. The company has also been working on a fleet of autonomous semi trucks and they're finally ready to be put to the test. "In short, our near-decade of experience with passenger vehicles has given us a head start in trucking". These lessons could eventually be applied to other companies who use trucks with Waymo's technology.

Tesla, of course, recently announced an all-electric semi truck with limited self-driving capabilities.

"As we look to the future of innovation and efficiency, self-driving vehicles are at the forefront of enhancing roadway safety and making the transportation of American goods more feasible".

Related Articles