Automotive

Waymo self-driving trucks to start hauling cargo next week

Waymo self-driving trucks to s...
Waymo's self-driving trucks are ready to haul cargo to Google's data centers in Atlanta, Georgia
Waymo's self-driving trucks are ready to haul cargo to Google's data centers in Atlanta, Georgia
View 3 Images
Controlling a truck is very different to driving a car, so Waymo's self-driving big rigs will have a trained human driver in the cab at all times
1/3
Controlling a truck is very different to driving a car, so Waymo's self-driving big rigs will have a trained human driver in the cab at all times
Waymo's self-driving trucks are ready to haul cargo to Google's data centers in Atlanta, Georgia
2/3
Waymo's self-driving trucks are ready to haul cargo to Google's data centers in Atlanta, Georgia
The pilot trucks will make use of the same kind of custom sensors used in Waymo's autonomous Pacifica minivan
3/3
The pilot trucks will make use of the same kind of custom sensors used in Waymo's autonomous Pacifica minivan

Waymo has clocked up millions of self-driving miles since starting Google's autonomous vehicle project in 2009, celebrating 5 million of them by recently releasing a 360-degree video to demonstrate how its cars see the world around them. Now the company is shifting gear by moving into cargo hauling.

After road-testing its self-driving trucks in California and Arizona over the past 12 months, Waymo's fleet of autonomous big rigs is due to start hauling cargo to Google's data centers in Atlanta, Georgia, from next week.

Partnering with Google's logistics team, the pilot trucks will make use of the same kind of custom sensors used in Waymo's autonomous Pacifica minivan, and leverage the same software. But since controlling a truck is quite different from driving a car, the Waymo fleet will have trained human drivers in the cabs to monitor the technology and take over if needed.

"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," the company said in a blog post. "With Waymo in the driver's seat, we can reimagine many different types of transportation – from ride-hailing to logistics."

Source: Waymo

4 comments
guzmanchinky
So this turns being a truck driver into a nice(r) job. Sit back and watch the world roll by, eventually be able to take a nap, read a book, and then take over for the part that's not on a freeway. But of course eventually there will be no more truck drivers...
GlenHale
And the out of work truck drivers Et Al wont need to buy goods so there will be no need for trucks,,,,assuming some one invents a reliable GPS map of course that can find a destination..
highlandboy
Daimler has been doing this for some time in Europe. The driver is currently a data analyst while the truck is on auto pilot.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Being a truck driver is only the most common job in 38 states.