Alphabet's autonomous vehicle division, Waymo, has announced that it is deploying a fleet of self-driving trucks to the roads of Atlanta. It's doing this through the same way you'd each anyone with passenger auto driving experience on how to drive a semi truck.
Waymo revealed Friday it integrated its self-driving system into Class 8 big rig trucks and has already been testing in California and Arizona.
The bright blue trucks in Waymo's Atlanta pilot will still have back-up drivers in the cabs to monitor systems and take control if needed.
A Waymo spokeswoman declined to say how many trucks will be tested.
Waymo had been road testing its self-driving trucks in California and Arizona over the previous year, since making it public in July 2017. 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. "We are excited to partner with Waymo, the leader in self-driving technology, in testing self-driving trucks here in the No. 1 state for business", Deal said.
This pilot, in partnership with Google's logistics team, allows for the further development of Waymo's technology and integrate it into the operations of shippers and carriers, with their network of distribution centers, ports and terminals.
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On Monday, Uber announced that it was hauling freight across Arizona in its self-driving trucks.
Drivers in Atlanta will soon share the highways with autonomous trucks.
Commercial trucking is seen as one of the biggest areas of opportunity for self-driving technology.
Trucking is a vital part of the American economy.
The latest installment, coming on the heels of a settled lawsuit between the two tech giants, involves self-driving truck testing.